There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake

The imaginary Hippo can do what he likes on the roof. In fact, he does all the things a little girl wishes she could, but is not allowed. When she takes a bath, the hippo takes a shower; when she goes to bed, the hippo watches television on the roof. And when the repair men come to fix the roof, the hippo conveniently disappears, returning of course to eat a very large piece of cake.

My daddy says there’s a hole in our roof.

I know why there’s a hole.

There’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake.

He can do what he likes.




My hippopotamus doesn’t like baths.

He’s having a shower.

I know, because I heard him.

There’s a hippopotamus on our roof having a shower.

ISBN: 978 0-14-350136-7 P/b
ISBN: 978-0-670-07453-2 H/b Anniversary edition
Illustrator: Deborah Niland
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia
E-book available.

Awards: Leipzig International Exhibition ‘Best designed Books of the World’ Bronze Medal 1982
Film Adaptation: Pocket Bonfire: 2012 Little Big Shots National Festival.
Chinese translations: Children’s Publishing House of Sichuan Province
Theatre: Garry Ginnivan productions ‘Hippo! Hippo! the Musical’ toured nationally.

Visit your local bookshop or these online retailers have copies available now – just click through on the direct link and you can purchase online:

There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake was adapted by Pocket Bonfire Productions as a short film. Starring Angus Sampson and Bridie Carter, the story follows rogue 9-year-old Zoe and a shower-singing, bike-riding, cake-eating Hippopotamus.

Click here to preview the movie trailer.

Interview with Director Jaime Snyder

Chosen to tour with Little Big Shots for Kids

Copyright Agency   ‘Classic Picture Book Turns 40 

40th Anniversary  40 Fun Memories of the Cake-Eating Hippo-The Two of Us.pdf  Other Resources

Buzz Words review‘ Surely no other picture book in the world has been as popular as this one.’ (Di Bates)

Hazel meets her own character, 40 years after creating Hippo.

Author’s View on Book Adapted to Stage.pdf

Canberra Critics Circle review  ‘sat enthralled throughout… catchy bright hummable songs’

Deborah Niland has hippo merchandise like a library bag.

Our roof leaks. Drip! Drip! Drip! My daddy says there’s a hole in our roof. I know why there’s a hole.
There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake.

This is the story about a very big imaginary friend who can do anything! A colourful and reassuring picture book ideal for preschoolers.

The Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake celebrated its 40th birthday in 2020!

‘Not Just a Piece of Cake; Being an Author’ Hazel’s memoir, includes Q& A and 100 Hippo History anecdotes.

‘Story Time’ Exhibition (Aug 2019-Feb 2020) : National Library of Australia’ Historic Children’s Book Characters’  Buzz Words article

To celebrate the anniversary of the original Hippopotamus book, Puffin created some fun Hippo Party materials. You can visit the Puffin website or download the items here.

A range of resources are available for download below. Enjoy!

You can find more resources and classroom ideas for all of Hazel’s Books by clicking through to the Teachers Resources Page

Premiers’ Reading Challenges

There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake is listed as approved reading on Premiers’ Reading Challenges throughout Australia:

OAM Association Talk:
May 11th “Not Just a Piece of Cake: Being an Author” Will be on You Tube soon.

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Student Resources:
Crafting an assignment on Hazel Edwards? Get tips for school projects, and her uniquely answered questions

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