Rating: Significant Shortcomings
Reading/Interest Level: Toddler
Author: Elizabeth Honey
Publisher: Clarion Books
The picture book Hop Up! Wriggle Over! depicts the day of a large family of assorted Australian animals. They wake up their mother figure, a koala, and eat breakfast and go to the park. Then they are picked up by their father figure, a kangaroo, and go home, eat dinner, and go to bed. The actions throughout the book are depicted through pictures and simple words. Waking up is summarized as “Hop up! Wriggle over! Wakey, wakey. Hungry!” The entire book consists of this style of broken phrases, most without punctuation. The last page includes the names of all the Australian animals depicted.
The detailed watercolor pictures are charming. The variation of animals depicted may help fostered or adopted children connect as there is no family resemblance among any of the animals. However, the simple words would be more appropriate for a board book rather than a hardback picture book. There are no real characters or dialogue, just very simple words associated with a daily routine depicted by the animals. It doesn’t offer much in terms of children learning sentence structure or communication, nor is there any take-away message or lesson to be learned from the interactions of the animals.