Fiction Book Review: Havoc in the Hammock! by Kelly Russel Jacques, Illustrated by Liz and Kate Pope

ROCKETKIDS

Havoc in the Hammock! is a sweet, if a bit silly, tale about a tired tortoise that just can’t catch a break. The children’s book is rife with wonderfully alliterative characters - six limber lizards, seven prickly porcupines, and nine rowdy rabbits, to name a few - all of which pile into the hammock, disrupting the tortoise’s nap.

The story shines not by providing overarching, subtextual metaphors, but through the pacing of its writing. By emphasizing the number of new animals that jump into hammock - “one tired tortoise, two scheming spiders, three crazy crickets” in sequential order, the story creates a fun, playful learning experience for young readers still learning how to count. The fact that every “paragraph” or stanza rhymes is just the cherry on top.

The story’s illustrations add a whimsical touch to the story as well. While every animal is roughly realistic in scale to one another, their faces are personified with easily digestible emotional cues.

Publication Date: March 15,2022 by Reycraft Books, New York, ISBN: 1478875283, Ages: 3-7.

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