LONG LIST REVIEW: The Hippo at the End of the Hall


Receiving an invitation to the mysterious Gee Museum 'containing the wonderful works of nature and curious works of science', Ben is intrigued by the message: Come now or come never! Despite his mother's reluctance for him to go, Ben is drawn to the museum where he finds the exhibits come to life and are desperate for his help as the museum in under threat from a property developer. Ben is their last hope at saving the museum, but has he come in time?

Reminiscent of museums like the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford or Snowshill Manor in Gloucestershire, the Gee Museum is a celebration of the wonderful nature of museums- items people have collected together which are fascinating, mundane, beautiful, rare or curious. The story encourages you to value and explore these places and Helen Cooper has drawn on her love of museums and items she has discovered to create the Gee Museum. Sengi is based on an exhibit in the Natural History Museum in Oxford, the hippo from the Peabody Museum in Boston and Flummery from the Tring Natural History Museum.

The story is beautifully told, using a rich vocabulary and entwining folk tales into Ben's narrative. There is much to explore and enjoy here with the story offering many opportunities for inspiring a range of writing and challenging children to explore the carefully chosen vocabulary. 

Bursting with beautiful pencil sketches, 'The Hippo at the End of the Hall' is a charming, exciting read, perfect for engaging the most reluctant reader.

The Hippo at the End of the Hall       Helen Cooper 

David Fickling Books    ISBN: 978-1910989753

You can read another review of 'The Hippo at the End of the Hall'  here.