By: Jeanne Willis
Illstrated by: Adrian Reynolds
Publisher: Andersen Press
Publication Date: September 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
Giraffe was coming up the road, but didn’t see the banana peel in his pathway. Hyena, who was laughing and snickering as he hid beside the road, sure knew it was there because he was playing a trick on poor Giraffe. “KER-RANG!” Down he went and smacked right into a tree. Naturally Hyena thought that was hysterical, but Giraffe firmly said, “That’s not funny.” Hippo, who was standing nearby looking totally indignant, was practically in tears when a coconut fell on his head from the tree Giraffe hit. Hahahahahahhahaha! It was not funny at all, but when Hippo became so “dizzy that he stepped on Snake,” Hyena really became hysterical with laughter.
Snake became so upset she just wriggled and waggled and bit poor Ostrich on the leg. The tears began to fly as Ostrich said, “That’s not funny.” Rhino didn’t think so either when Ostrich accidentally kicked him into the swamp. Then when poor Rhino “fell he catapulted Turtle right into the air...Turtle torpedoed into Vulture...and Vulture flopped down from the sky and landed on Zebra.” What a big mess. Everyone was falling like dominoes and that silly, foolish Hyena thought it was funny. Hahahahahahhahaha! All of a sudden Wildebeest and his pals began to stampede toward Elephant. Hyena “couldn’t wait to see what hilarious thing would happen to Elephant,” but there would be a BIG surprise in store for him and he wouldn’t be laughing any more. “KER-RANG!”
This zany chain of events set into place by Hyena, the practical joker, will give everyone a case of the giggles. Of course it isn’t really funny to laugh at others’ misfortunes, but with the sudden turn of events at the end when Hyena “gets his,” young and old alike will gladly have the last laugh along with all the animals. A book can be silly, but also teach a lesson at the same time in a gentle manner. The colorful, charming artwork expertly captured the wide range of emotions each animal was feeling as they became trapped by Hyena’s foolish prank. There is mention of a “huge, steaming heap of Elephant’s POO!” for those who do not think potty humor is funny. If you want to join in the fun and watch “how all the other animals laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed”...you might want to consider this hilarious tale with a moral tucked in between the pages!
Quill says: If you have an expressive reading voice, this would be the perfect tale to read during story or circle time! “KER-RANG!” “BINK!” “That’ssssssssss not funny!”