Chatting with Brett Curzon, author and illustrator of Hippo Blue’s new personalised story book The ABC Jungle Adventures, he says, “I wanted to make sure it is a book that children can come back to time and time again.”
True to his words, The ABC Jungle Adventures has many layers. When my two-year-old reads it, he takes away something completely different from my six-year-old. But they both giggle throughout the book. And they have been pulling it out of the bookshelf again and again.
For my two-year-old, it is the ABCs, adorable animals and the actions. He has started to recognise a few letters of the alphabet, and it makes him proud when he sees them. The details of the illustration are amazing – the spectacles on the bear, the hat on the fish… He loves to point at the animals and say the ones he knows. Then, when the hero of the story says “Jump!” my boy likes to leap as high as he can. It makes him so happy.
For my six-year-old, there is the satisfaction of knowing that she is the hero of the story. Not only that, there is nonsense (she gets the animals to jump, paddle, swing), the gross factor (the animals are bringing grubs and worms to the party! Eeeeeeewwwwww!), and the delightful hidden details (I won’t spoil the fun by telling you what’s hidden). But the best part is finding her friends and family appear in a book as animal characters. Mummy is a koala, Daddy is a lion, baby brother is a zebra, and her best friend is a sloth!!! She is howling on the floor in tears by the end of the book.
The true meaning of the book is that these special friends and family in their lives will always stand by them in this adventure called life. The hero of the story puts everyone in a bit of sticky situation, inviting them to a jungle party they have no way of getting to. But they always come through to celebrate with the child.
And that really is the most important lesson of all, isn’t it… Children can do what they want to do and be what they want to be, because they will always have the support and love of friends and family.
To preview your own unique storybook, click here.