Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

When I Woke Up I Was a Hippopotamus

When I Woke Up I Was a Hippopotamus

Tom MacRae
Illustrator:  Ross Collins 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Andersen Press USA, 2011   ISBN: 978-0761380993

One morning a little boy wakes up and instead of being a little boy, he is a large sleepy and sluggish hippopotamus. Since hippos “don’t get up in the morning,” the little boy doesn’t get up even when his mother warns him that he is going to be late.

At the breakfast table the little boy is a robot, a robot who is not programmed to eat and who cannot eat cornflakes. Though his father tells him to “Come on! Eat up!” the boy (in his robot form) cannot understand what he is saying.

In school, the boy is a monkey who not only climbs on a table, but he also talks back to his teacher when she chastises him for misbehaving.

As his mood shifts from moment to moment throughout the day, the little boy changes from being a monster to a rocket, and from rocket into a giant, until he goes just too far. Which is when he gets a dose of his own medicine.

All too often children do not realize that their actions impact others. They blithely go through their day doing whatever they feel like until something happens that shows them that their actions have a ripple effect.

With delightfully funny illustrations and a bouncy rhyming text, Tom MacRae and Ross Collins help young children to better understand that they need to be aware of others as they go about their day.