Cover image for The big blue thing on the hill
The big blue thing on the hill
Zommer, Yuval, author.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition
Publication Information:
Somerville, Massachusetts : Templar Books, an imprint of Candlewick Press, 2015.

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Far away from the city, in the middle of the Great Forest, is a special place called howling hill. It has always been peaceful and quiet, until one night, when a thing appears. It's blue, it's big, and the animals all agree that it has to go.
Reading Level:
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.2 0.5 171325.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Audubon Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Concord Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Mystery/Suspense
East Aurora Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Elma Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
North Collins Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Orchard Park Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Angola Public Library J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



This crazy animal caper will have you cheering for the little guys!

When the Big Blue Thing (a camper van to us humans) arrives on Howling Hill, the local wildlife all agree it has to go. First the wolves try to scare it away, then the bears, boars, and foxes have a turn. Finally the wise owls suggest sending the smallest critters -- the insects -- to do the job. A cloud of bees, flies, and dragonflies make sure that the Big Blue Thing runs away at top speed!

Author Notes

Yuval Zommer graduated from London's Royal College of Art and has worked as creative director for many of the U.K.'s top advertising agencies. This is his debut picture book, inspired by the animals he came across on a trip to the zoo.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Is it an elephant? Is it a meteorite? A dinosaur? The animals of the Great Forest don't know what to make of the blue camper van that arrives one night atop Howling Hill, but they do know it's trouble. The wolves and the bears howl and growl, trying to intimidate it away. The boars try to push it off the hill, and the foxes and badgers try burying it, but it will not budge. Finally, the wise old owl sends the forest's tiniest inhabitants, the midges and mosquitoes and bees and wasps, into the heart of the beast, and sure enough, it turns tail. The Great Forest is peaceful once more but for how long? Hoots, toots, buzzes, and puffs make for a fun read-aloud experience, while goofy illustrations in a naturalistic palette match the energy of this silly story. The digitally created art has a loosey-goosey painting style reminiscent of Vladimir Radunsky's You? (2009) or Hip Hop Dog (2010). Although mildly xenophobic, The Big Blue Thing on the Hill is just for fun.--Willey, Paula Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zommer makes a rousing debut with a story about forest creatures faced with a menacing adversary. "It's a meteorite!" cry the bears. "It's a spaceship!" shout the wolves. Spoiler: it's a VW microbus, and it stops right at the top of Howling Hill, the very spot where boars, badgers, bears, and foxes practice making terrifying noises at night. Several plans to defeat the so-called Big Blue Thing fail ("They huffed and puffed as they pushed and shoved with all their might") until the Wisest Old Owl instructs the animals to organize the local insects into a Big Bug Flying Squad, whose swarms achieve in short order what howling and growing could not. Zommer's digital artwork retains a cozy, painterly sense as he gives the boars splotchy coats, the insects delicate wings, and the microbus dainty white curtains (its human inhabitants never emerge). Best of all are his hilarious predators, whose cross-eyed stares, sheepish expressions, and toothy grins make them instantly loveable. Children will delight in the creatures' dogged efforts to reclaim their home, and they'll appreciate the bonus ending-after-the-ending, too. Ages 3-7. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Colorful, digitally created illustrations reveal the Great Forest and all its inhabitants living peacefully side by side. Life is good, and the bears, wolves, badgers, boars, and other creatures have their routine: sleep during the day and venture out at night. All's well until a Volkswagen bus, "a big blue thing," so-named by the foxes, roars into their territory and settles itself on top of the hill. The animals, perturbed by the intruder, team up to rid their hill of the disturber of their peace. Howling, growling, and pushing don't work, so a meeting is called. The "Wisest Old Owl," deciding upon a plan of action, calls forth the smallest creatures for their assistance. The text changes in shape and size, giving movement and emphasis to the tale. Watching the forest denizens band together against an interloper is an enjoyable example of teamwork, with the tiniest critters saving the day. The pictures display variety in the animals' faces and demeanor and resemble gouache paintings. Children will enjoy contemplating the animals' next plan of action and appreciate the surprise ending.-Maryann H. Owen, Children's Literature Specialist, Mt. Pleasant, WI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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