The Bump


Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-920534-28-7






Illustrations by Barbara Hicks
Reviewed by Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson was a librarian with the Calgary Public Library.


Dissatisfied with being a mere lump in the middle of the prairie, The Bump yearns to be something grand — like a steep hill, a snowy mountain, or a fiery volcano. He imagines people tobogganing down his side, skiing down his slopes, or running to hide from his fierce explosion. Just when he seems reconciled to his lot, a truck arrives and a very eager family jumps out; soon the family has built a house on top of Bump. Now he is proud of the fence around him and the sign on the gate declaring this landmark and abode to be “The Bump.”

The theme of self-acceptance, quite frequently expressed in children’s books, is certainly conveyed with originality in Fred Penner’s text, which is an adaptation of his song of the same title. Like the song, it is catchy and appealing.

Barbara Hicks’s full-colour illustrations depict a rather homely but beguiling lump whose cracks and fissures resemble facial features. Bump is talking (or singing) to an anthropomorphic dog and cat. The “people” he describes sliding and skiing down his sides are all animals, as are the family who build the house. Hicks’s designs and illustrations for the Canadian Content on Sesame Street have won her international recognition.

This adaptation of Penner’s song should be endorsed by the picture-book set, and it is to be hoped that future additions to this new series will be equally successful.


Penner, Fred, “The Bump,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 25, 2024,