The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth

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The Famishing Vanishing Mahoosive Mammoth
Hollie Hughes and Leigh Hodgkinson
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
What a wonderful word mahoosive is and how perfectly it sums up the star of this show and his gargantuan, nay insatiable, appetite. And his side-kick, best friend bug is his perfect ally in seeking to sort out the ‘famishing vanishing’ problem upon which this story rests.
Now I for one find it hard to believe what this creature says on the very first spread

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and he’s fortunate that said Bug is near at hand – or rather trunk – to step, nay fly in, to save the sorry situation. First comes a MAHOOSIVE breakfast, followed swiftly by a snack, neither of which appear to improve Mammoth’s mood, nor sate his appetite (ungrateful beast); he merely keeps up his complaints of feeling funny inside and statements about vanishing. Bug mentions brunch; that idea is scuppered though by Mammoth’s consumption of this …

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and so the two agree to ‘do lunch’.
Even that – and it’s a five star affair, leaves Mammoth unsatisfied and Bug right out of ideas. Well maybe not quite because they just happen to be at the seaside where there’s a plethora of treats to be had, both small and large …

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Will that long-suffering, resourceful Bug ever find a way to satisfy his dear friend’s all-consuming need?
The distractions appear to be a good thing …

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but are they enough to fend off the otherwise inevitable stomach explosion Mammoth is rapidly heading for? Or maybe, just maybe, there’s something else even better …
Delivered through a deliciously funny rhyming text that’s a pleasure to read aloud and wonderfully patterned, brightly coloured illustrations depicting two immediately endearing characters, this whole MAHOOSIVE enterprise is a delight. I shared it on a day of Brexit doom and gloom so far I was concerned and it certainly did bring on some cheer. My listeners loved it, demanded a re-read and several of them were later heard repeating a certain word over and over. If only this final gorgeous picture –

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could have been symbolic of what a whole lot of us were hoping for …

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