Posted by: janesandell | December 11, 2017

The Hippo at the End of the Hall by Helen Cooper

Come now or come never! That’s the message on the mysterious invitation Ben receives.  Accepting it leads him to the Gee Museum and a meeting with a hippo, a sengi and a puffer fish.  Oh and a mischievous chameleon.  Ben is fascinated by the ramshackle museum and teased by a distant memory involving his long-dead Dad.

But the museum is under threat from an unscrupulous alliance and it seems that Ben is the only one who can save it. With help from the resident bees and other animals he sets out to make a plan but one rash decision has unimaginable consequences…

Part fantasy, part mystery Helen Cooper’s debut novel is a joy with strong characters and a plot of just the right complexity. Staying just this side of sentimentality it’s a warm and engaging read.  And, of course, it’s beautifully illustrated.

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