Sunday, April 14, 2024
Every Little Hippo Can

Every Little Hippo Can

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Giles Andreae

Horace the hippo and his sister Hope love going to the lake every day with their granny. But the long walk has become a little too long for Granny. So Horace and Hope make a plan to bring the lake to her instead. But little Horace can’t carry as much water as his sister, and he always comes back with an empty bucket. Can Granny help him see that, with every little splash and spill, an even more wonderful gift is growing?


  • Could you write your own story about a character who has to overcome a problem by showing patience and perseverance?
  • Retell the story from Horace’s point of view.
  • Retell the story from the point of view of Granny Hippo or one of the other animals who watch the events unfold.
  • Choose a few of the illustrations and think of speech / thought bubbles to accompany them.
  • Design an invitation for the other animals to ask them to play in the lake with Horace and Hope.
  • Make a list of all the rhyming words in the story. Can you think of other words that rhyme with each one? Make your own rhyming couplets inspired by the book.
  • Write a story about a new adventure that Horace might have. What other obstacles might he have to overcome?
  • Make a narrated audio / video recording to retell this story. Here is one example:


  • Find out about hippos and write a report. Include information about their diets, behaviour, habitats and adaptations. You could also use your research to create a presentation or a video about them. This video may help:

  • As he carried the water to his granny, plants grew along Horace’s path. Write some instructions to help people to look after a growing plant.


  • Design a game in which a hippo character has to carry something back and forth.
  • Use art software to create some pictures of a hippo.

Design Technology:

  • Design a tool that Horace could use to carry more water back to Granny Hippo.
  • Could you make a model of a hippo? Use papier-mâché, junk modelling or other materials for your work.


  • Design a poster that teaches others about the power of ‘Yet’ and encourages them to keep trying.
  • Create a picture that shows the African landscape at sunset. Use the illustrations in the book for inspiration.
  • Create some pictures that show the landscape before and after Horace had carried all of the water back and forth. How are they different?
  • This book uses vibrant colours throughout the illustrations. Could you create some illustrations of hippos (or other animals) using a similar technique?
  • Make a storyboard that retells the main points of the story.
  • Make some drawings / paintings of hippos.


  • Make a map that shows the different locations in the story. Add labels to show the events that took place in each part.
  • Discuss the importance of protecting hippo habitats. What can you do to help endangered species?


  • At one point in the story, Granny says, “It’s not that you can’t do it… you just can’t do it yet.” What does this mean? What can’t you do yet? Make a plan of action that might help you to reach the goal.
  • “Nothing that’s worth doing comes too easy or too fast.” What does this mean?
  • Horace and his sister filled Granny Hippo’s heart with joy. Can you think of some things that you could do to make somebody smile?

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