Duck And Hippo Give Thanks (Jonathan London)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Duck And Hippo Give Thanks, written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner, a festive third installment of the series.

As he rakes the leaves in his yard into a tidy pile, Hippo dreams of a “good, old-fashioned”, Thanksgiving dinner. His musings are interrupted by the arrival of his friend Duck, entering by way of a leaf-pile cannonball – mussing up Hippo’s work. Though irked, Hippo quickly forgives his exuberant friend. They decide to spend the holiday together and invite all their friends to join. They then spend the day together, joyfully gathering supplies, inviting their pals, and preparing for the feast. The next evening, Hippo has set a table with a delicious, traditional Thanksgiving spread, when Duck and the other guests arrive with a surprise: lovingly homemade – but decidedly NON-traditional – dishes. Elephant is flummoxed; this is not the old-fashioned Thanksgiving he had pictured. But seeing that his friends’ hard work and well meaning, and happy to simply be spending time with them, he shakes off his rigidness. After all, traditions are only as good as the company we share them with.

Very sweet. As with Duck and Hippo’s previous stories, the plot is gentle and light. Yet this one subtly conveys a deeper meaning that I loved: don’t be too quick to dismiss what someone brings to the table simply because it’s different or new – a lesson as true of food as it is of life. This is served especially well alongside Joyner’s art, which has a vaguely nostalgic style, inspired by classic storybooks yet updated for a modern audience. The length was great, and JJ loved it too. A festive and quietly wise lesson in togetherness, and acceptance of others’ differences – sentiments perfect for reflection during a season of giving thanks. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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