Sharko and Hippo (Hardcover)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny farce that will surprise and delight readers—from television comedy writer Elliott Kalan and acclaimed illustrator Andrea Tsurumi.
When Sharko calls for a boat, Hippo pulls out a goat.
He wants a pole, but Hippo gives him a pail.
And instead of bait, a beet and a boot!
Hippo’s coat pockets seem to have everything except what Sharko asks for!
Will their fishing trip ever get off the ground?
About the Author
Elliott Kalan has written for for teeny toes (No! TV shows!) like Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Who Was? Show, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as atomic cooks (No, Hippo! Comic books!) like Spider-Man and the X-Men. He is the author of Horse Eats Frog (Hippo, it’s Horse Meets Dog!). He lives with his wife and two sons in Gross Angeles (HIPPO!).
Andrea Tsurumi is the author-illustrator of Crab Cake and Accident! and the illustrator of Not Your Nest!, Girls Who Code, and the Kondo & Kezumi series. She lives in Philadelphia with her spouse and their small, serious dog.
“Kalan’s comedic duo brings to mind the iconic team of Chico and Harpo Marx. Dialogue in speech bubbles drives the narrative seamlessly, coupled with Tsurumi’s genial cartoon art, which downplays Sharko’s teeth in favor of impressively emphatic eyebrows…. Kids will laugh along with each picture cue as the silliness endures down to the last reveal, which discloses Hippo’s secret motive behind the foolishness.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“Well-oiled comedic dialogue by Kalan (Horse Meets Dog) starts with a bang as Sharko and silent sidekick Hippo ready themselves to fish…. Kalan and Tsurumi pay homage to humor that fights bossiness with anarchy—Hippo may look foolish, but it’s Sharko’s plans that are utterly, gleefully foiled.”
— Publishers Weekly
I enjoyed the book although it's not one I would have selected on my own. Especially for a debut novel I thought it was well done and engaging. I can't attest to the historical accuracy of the book's premise (yes, I know it's historical fiction). Over-all I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy, entertaining read for beachside (when beaches reopen) or for a weekend of relaxation even if it's in your own backyard. There were moments where I thought the perspectives of the protagonist - Anita (The Woman in Red) - stemmed from our 21st century experiences as opposed to how the setting might have been perceived in the time period of the book, but this wasn't so distracting that it ruined the novel. On an entirely positive note, I would say that one place where most novels fail for me is the ending - too many novels are either entirely predictable or feel rushed and hurried as if trying to tie up all the loose ends. I was not expecting the outcome at the end of The Woman in Red!
Overall I would give this book 4 out of 5 stars . It was a respectable first novel from Diana Giovinazzo, with an engaging story line that was enjoyably uncomplicated yet intriguing, a likeable protagonist, and a surprise ending.
- reviewed by Diane, customer