Duck and Hippo in the Rainstorm
written by Jonathan London; illustrated by Andrew Joyner
2017 (Two Lions)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
Duck said, "Want to sail down the creek?
It'll be like riding down a roller coaster!"
It's lovely weather for ducks, so why shouldn't Duck be enthusiastic about a walk in the rain? On the other hoof, Hippo is not so sure. Assured of a shared umbrella, he decides to go ahead with Duck's plans. Problem is, Duck and Hippo aren't exactly the same size. After a few adjustments, they find a way to share the umbrella. Seeing a rushing creek, adventuresome Duck suggests this is an opportunity for a ride. Cautious Hippo is not sold, but moves forward. After a couple of awkward tries, they settle in the umbrella for a bumpy ride. Bypassing a crocodile, they make it to a pond, but Duck loses sight of her herbivore friend. Like this blogger when he can't find his car keys, Duck makes a discovery that is equal parts relief and embarrassment. Tromping out of the pond, they continue their walk with Duck sitting on Hippo's shoulder to keep both of them dry. Unfortunately, a raging gust of wind lifts Duck into the air. Will Hippo be able to catch her before she comes crashing down to earth?
Buddy adventures are a popular subject with K-2 readers. They're also great opportunities to work on comparing and contrasting. Duck and Hippo have their differences, so students can work on their text reading skills with this book. It also would be an excellent chance to compare with other buddy books like Frog and Toad. That's a big plus in second grade. Two other facets of Duck and Hippo should be highlighted. The artwork is brilliant in color and expression. We work quite a bit in kindergarten and first grade on pulling meaning from the illustrations. Duck and Hippo are very expressive which helps with understanding the story. This is also going to be a terrific text for fluency work. Both characters are animated in their speech, which makes for several chances to practice oral reading. As the opener in a series, Duck and Hippo is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.