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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Hippomottie’s Christmas Story by Amelia K. Amherst is a fun story about Santa, friendship, helping others and giving. Hippomottie the hippopotamus is all ready to celebrate Christmas when she remembers her friend Meelon on Mars – she must get her present to him asap and fires up the rocket to get there in time. But on the way she meets Santa and his sleigh and they are in great difficulty as Rudolph is ill. Children all over the world will miss out on presents unless Hippomottie can come to the rescue.
Amelia K. Amherst’s Hippomottie's Christmas Story for young children is written in rhyme. The plot bounces along at a good pace as Santa’s plight is uncovered and a rescue mission is launched. Importantly for story times, the bright and colorful illustrations on each page really bring the tale alive and there is much to discover and discuss in each picture as the tale unfolds. I love the character of Hippomottie and her willingness and enthusiasm for putting her own mission aside to help Santa. What comes across well in this tale is that her kindness and unselfishness pay off – not just for Santa and children everywhere, but because she eventually receives a reward for her own actions.
I loved the inclusion of praying for peace and a meal shared with friends on Christmas Day. Whilst this is a fun story that will get children excited about Christmas, I feel it can also prompt discussions about friendship, kindness and including others. A good story with excellent and appealing illustrations that would make a lovely gift at Christmas time. Recommended for sharing at home or preschool.