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Akala is a leading hip-hop artist and rapper, who was named Best Hip Hop Act at the MOBO Awards in 2006. He founded ‘The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company’ in 2009 to engage young people with Shakespeare. He has featured on TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC speaking on wide ranging subjects from music, youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture. He published a collection of short stories Doublethink in 2015 and a graphic novel Visions in 2016. Hip and Hop is his first children’s book. Follow Akala on Instagram here.
Akala, award winning hip hop artist, gives power to the kids in this uplifting, lively story which carries a positive message that with hard work and practise you can be anything you want to be. Hip, the rapping Hippo, encourages his friend Hop to learn to ride a bike so they can both take part in the Blueberry Hill cycle race. After a few falls Hop feels disheartened and wants to give up but Hip, with an inspiring rap, gets Hop back on his bike and with practise he perfects balance, brakes and steering to show off his new skills at the cycle race. 'Don't let anyone tell you no. Focus on your dreams and go!' Colourful, funky artwork from Sav Akyuz adds to the streetwise appeal. Ben Bailey Smith (aka rapper Doc Brown) has also used his rapping talent creating I am Bear, also illustratated by Sav Akyuz.