Ibream inspires illustrated book

I wish to thank Dr. Monique Paris for inviting me to contribute to this website and the wonderful work IBREAM is doing.

When I first had the idea of creating a book illustrating the most common quotes of William Shakespeare, I wanted to have his words spoken by an animal. I believed that would make the Bard more accessible to young people. But which animal? I thought it would be a humorous contrast to use the animal least likely to be quoting the world’s greatest poet. After considering  the elephant, lion, tiger, bear, and rhinoceros, I settled on the hippopotamus, Why? Because in appearance, the hippo seemed slow, lazy, and, dull-witted, and wouldn’t it be hilarious if he was quoting Shakespeare?  BOY, WAS I WRONG!

I learned that the hippo’s closest living relatives are whales and porpoises – the most intelligent species alive; which makes the hippo pretty bright. They are quick and aggressive and considered the most dangerous animals on the planet. It then struck me that hippos would be the most equipped to be quoting Shakespeare. They had the wisdom of millions of years of evolution, and because they were so tough, the other animals, including humans,  would have to listen to them. They wouldn’t dare run away.

And since hippos seemed always accompanied by bird companions, I’m sure they taught their flying friends a quote or two. So the book “Birds, Hippos and the Bard” was born.

The hippos and the pygmy hippos are in danger of becoming extinct. These magnificent animals must be saved. I hope my little book can contribute to preserving a longer life for them.

Michael Fairman


Discover more about the author visit is website : //www.michaelfairmanactor.com/
Extra illustrations from the book : //www.michaelfairmanactor.com/birds-hippos-and-the-bard.html