The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound

Children - Picture Book
36 Pages
Reviewed on 06/29/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Marta Tandori for Readers' Favorite

An exciting hunt for gold in a faraway land forms the backdrop of the delightful children’s book, The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound, written by Geoff Payne and illustrated by Sarah Truman. Hugh Hound arrives unexpectedly at the home of artist Will Weasel, after a long voyage across the sea. Over tea and plates of honey cakes, he tells Will about his being commissioned by the queen to find a bounty of stolen gold. Hugh sets sail for the coast of Maezkartu, where he drops anchor and begins his search for the hoarded gold – only to encounter serpents, foul goblins and a host of other creatures, good and bad, who either help him or try to stop him in his quest…

Payne’s tale has all the elements young children will love; a compelling figure in Hugh Hound, an adventure to a far-off place, mean pirates, gold and even a magical sword called a shamshir that glows and freezes. Writing a fairly detailed story in rhyme most certainly has its challenges, yet the author manages to pull it off admirably. There’s a great story told in rhyming verse that tells of the Sultan Serpent’s palace, the Black Desert and the Dark Dragon’s hoarded gold and yet the structure is simple enough to allow young readers to identify the rhyming words.

Truman’s illustrations leap off the page, each one fluid and full of life as it complements a particular aspect of the story. Presented in crisp watercolors, they are detailed enough to encourage young readers to reach out and touch the various elements described in Payne’s story. Some illustrations, such as the menacing headshot of the dragon, may be a little frightening to some smaller children but are immediately tempered by those showing the hero of the story in restful slumber. A wonderful tale of gold and adventure, The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound is the perfect bedtime story or a great picture book for early readers.

Jack Magnus

The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound is a children’s animal picture book written by Geoff Payne and illustrated by Sarah Truman. Will Weasel was quietly at work in his home studio when rapping on his door broke into his concentration. When he opened the door, he was startled to find an exceedingly well-dressed hound, garbed in the queen’s naval uniform. The hound introduced himself as Hugh Hound and explained that he had traveled by boat to commission a portrait by Will Weasel, having heard of his skills at portraiture. As the two sat comfortably, drinking Will’s tea and eating honey cakes, Hugh shared the most amazing story: a story about dragons, hidden treasure and fearsome pirates.

The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound had me reliving my first reading of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and revisiting Daniel Defoe and Robert Louis Stevenson’s marvelous adventure novels. His verse has the power and internal music of the Rime, and his story sparks the imagination as those classic adventure tales so easily managed to do. Parents and caregivers are in for a treat when they bring this book out for storytime as it’s guaranteed to thrill everyone involved. It’s a pleasure to read aloud as well as listen to, and Sarah Truman’s artwork follows the storyline in magnificent fashion. Each panel is filled with inked details, jewel-like colors and a master’s use of wash, shading, and textures. Adults reading this book may also find they’re thinking of their first reading of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and other great fantasy offerings as they read aloud. What a marvelous introduction to the great classics, and it’s easily accessible and enjoyable for all ages. Suitable for young readers to try on their own as well as for storytime, this new classic adventure tale is most highly recommended.

Vernita Naylor

If you're looking for a beautifully illustrated children's picture book, The Incredible Adventure of Hugh Hound by Geoff Payne is a must-have for your child's library. This story has everything from bonding, lost treasure, pirates, a dragon, goblins, and adventure. When Hugh Hound experienced a wonderful adventure that took him on a journey of overcoming pirates, capturing a ship along with lots of gold and presenting this gold to the Queen, he was so ecstatic with his success. Artist Will Weasel was known for his work so, to commemorate his success, Hugh Hound wanted a portrait. Will Weasel was so honored to grant such a request. This connection created a great bond between the two and the portrait was something that Hugh Hound treasured so much that he hung it above his mantle.

Did you know that there are various benefits to a children's picture book for a child from connecting and visualization to learning how to read? I loved and enjoyed this beautiful book because the story not only rhymed within each paragraph but the story was wonderfully written that your child will want to read it over and over again. The words on the page along with the illustrations told a tale not only of fun and adventure but royalty and honor. The portrait of Hugh Hound and his shamshir (sword) was so breathtaking that it will stay in my mind as well as your child's. Looking forward to more work from this author.