Hugo and the Really, Really, Really Long String

Bob Boyle, Author . Random $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-83423-3

Boyle—creator of the animated TV show Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! —sets his first book for children in a landscape that looks like an old eight-bit video game; everything is rendered in flat, squarish shapes with rough edges. The story feels pretty old school, too: Hugo, a purple hippopotamus in a neat tie, roams through town following a red string. He collects friends as he goes, singing in lumpy verse, “There must be something special at the end!/ I'll share it with you, my newfound friend.” The red string, a clever device, leads the group through diverting city spaces—classrooms, railway tunnels, a noodle shop—until the group arrives at Hugo's house to discover it leads to a pair of Hugo's underwear that has been unraveled by his dog. Hugo's humiliation is short-lived, as “everyone began to sing—'We were eight strangers who followed the string! It really was a wonderful thing!' ” Boyle's pacing is able, and he scatters his artwork with amusing details; despite the somewhat sterile feel of the story, readers should appreciate its cheer—and the gag ending. Ages 3–6. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 02/22/2010
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-375-93423-0
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