Taking young children on a reading journey through the seven years of Primary School is a very joyful part of my job as a Teacher-Librarian and the very first book I read to Kindergarten has not changed in over twenty five years. It is There’s a Hippopotamus on our roof eating cake by Hazel Edwards. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of this famous character.
Why do I love to read this book?
- I have a hippo toy who lives in my library bag and the children love meeting this cheeky fellow
- This is a very familiar book – most children have heard it at pre-school and there is something very comforting about hearing an old favourite.
- This book is filled with nonsense which all children love.
- The hippo gets away with all sorts of ‘naughty’ behaviours.
- It is fun to read this book aloud with special voices.
- Finally and most importantly the repeated refrain of “There’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake” is a perfect way to invite the young children to join in as storytellers.
Just in case you have not seen this book, our young narrator lives with her mum, dad and older brother in a suburban house. The roof is leaking so Daddy has called the men in to fix the roof but our little heroine knows why the roof is leaking. There’s a hippopotamus on the roof having a shower, eating cake, riding a bike, watching television, drawing with crayons, and having a great time. When he is not on the roof the hippopotamus works part time at the zoo.
There are several sequels but for me the original is still the best. I look forward to sharing this classic with the new Kindergarten children who arrive at school in February next year.