Everyone knows the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, but you’ve definitely never heard it the way Jef Czekaj tells it. Hip & Hop in the House! is an illustrated comic for ages 6 and up tells the story of how Hip the tortoise and Hop the hare became friends and bonded over their shared love of rap music. There are two full stories combined in this full color book, along with a bonus mini-story at the end.
Hip the turtle raps slowly and Hop the bunny raps fast. They live on opposite sides of Oldskool County and the two sides never get along. But when they compete against each other at a rap battle, they discover that their two styles of rap work well together in harmony, uniting the two lands with a shared love of music.
The second story is called “Yes, Yes, Yaul,” where they meet a porcupine that doesn’t like anything. When Hip and Hop find out that it’s his birthday, they throw a big party and invite all their musical friends to brighten his day and turn is frown upside down.
Czekaj has a very stylized way of drawing animals that is very appealing. Kids will love the drawings and the silly caricatures, but adults enjoying this with their kids will laugh at some of the parodies of music icons. My favorite of these was a singing bee with a crown named “Bee-Yoncé.”
From fun rhymes and silly stories to messages of friendship and acceptance, Hip & Hop in the House! is a lot of fun for kids. It’s light on text with lots of speech bubbles, intended for kids to read to themselves. If your kids are into music, they will fall in love with both characters and will likely run to show you some of the funny jokes.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.