4 out of 4 stars
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Follow the exploring adventures of Hugo, Boobie Bird, and Iggy Iguana in The Hugonauts - Animals of Africa by Mark Morris. Young readers will learn interesting facts about different animals from Africa, including lions, giraffes, hippos, ostriches, meerkats, cheetahs, mandrills, marine iguanas, and blue-footed booby birds. Children will also enjoy searching for the "hidden Hugo" in a variety of scenes. The book is one of four in the Amazing Animal Adventures, and $1 from the sale of each book goes to various wildlife charities, such as Born Free Foundation and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
The 30-page children's book is educational, engaging, and entertaining. Hugo is an inquisitive boy who travels to Africa with his animal sidekicks in a transport called The Beagle. Young readers will discover new facts about animal characters with fun names, including Hakima Hippopotamus, ChaCha Cheetah, and Osumare Mandrill. For instance, although cheetahs purr loudly, they don't roar. While ostriches are the largest bird, they are unable to fly.
Simon Swingler is the illustrator, and I especially like the way he captures the personalities of the animals. I'm not alone in my opinion; I happened to be reading the story when my 9-year-old grandson called to video chat, and his enjoyment was evident by his giggles. He laughed out loud at the illustration of Jahi Giraffe and her extra-long tongue. The mob of meerkats was my favorite.
The book is professionally edited, and my only suggestion for improvement would be to rework some of the wording in the story. Although somewhat common in children's books, the attempt to consistently rhyme sometimes seems forced and slightly awkward. However, this is a minor issue in an otherwise delightful story.
Therefore, it is my pleasure to rate The Hugonauts - Animals of Africa 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend the fun read-aloud story to children through the age of 10, and parents, teachers, and grandparents.
The Hugonauts - Animals of Africa
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