The Hoppleplop by Kyle Mewburn and Deborah Hinde, Lizard Lane Books (c/o PO Box 455, Te Awamutu 3840); also available from http://kylemewburn.com
This delightful picture book was first published by Scholastic New Zealand in 2004. It became an all-time favourite, and this second revised edition is greatly welcomed. Most Kyle Mewburn fans will know that this story launched Kyle’s picture book writing career – since then he has published 25 picture books. For those who don’t know the story, the narrator takes us slowly through his/her cottage looking for the elusive Hoppleplop. Various friendly monsters are discovered in different rooms, but where is the Hoppleplop? There are two surprises at the end, one easy to spot but the other is more subtle and may need an adult reader to ask a leading question – whose hand is holding the Hoppleplop?
Debora Hinde’s zany illustrations are brightly-coloured and very detailed; young readers will enjoy poring over them to spot unusual (and sometimes spooky) objects and recurring motifs.
The new edition has been re-designed in that the cover is different, there are new illustrated end-papers, and a new title page. The layout of the story-and-picture pages looks to be the same as the earlier edition, but there are three pages added at the end which give us interesting background detail from both writer and illustrator.
My youngest grandson is four and still loves picture books, thank goodness. I’m looking forward to sharing this one with him. Heartily recommended for reading aloud one-to-one and to small groups in preschool centres and junior classes.
Kyle Mewburn has written over 50 books, been published in over 27 countries and has won numerous awards. The Hopplepop was his first book; published in 2014 with Scholastic. Kyle said he is always delighted and a bit surprised when kids tell him it's their favourite story. For more information go to www.kylemewburn.co.nz
Deborah Hinde worked as a graphic designer before illustrating children's books. The Hopplepop was the second book she illustrated. Since 2003 she has illustrated over 28 books including the award winning Te Reo Singalong series and the popular counting books '10 Kooky Kiwi', '10 Goofy Geckos' and '10 Plucky Penguins'. For more information: www.debhindeillustrationanddesign.co.nz
ISBN 978 0 473 35530 2 RRP $28 (hardback); $20 (soft cover)
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman