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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2015 PreS-Gr 2—With gorgeous mixed-media illustrations and accessible, engaging language, this picture book will spur interest in the world of hippos. Trueman's vivid images take advantage of every inch of available space to convey the size of these creatures, and the "Isn't this cool?" tone of London's text keeps readers hooked. Two types of text appear on each page: larger print encompasses the main narrative full of fascinating facts (ideal for reading aloud), while smaller print presents drier statistics and additional facts of interest. With a focus on high-interest details—such as a spread featuring two bull hippos flinging dung at each other in warning—this title stands out. VERDICT A solid nonfiction read-aloud.—Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, MD - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2015 This new entry in Candlewick’s venerable picture-book biology series brings a fresh and playful vigor to its subject. London’s cheerful large-print text outlines some basic hippopotamus facts with exclamatory relish (“Watch out! Hippo’s ‘yawn’ is a threat! It means Stay Away!”) while smaller-print paragraphs dig a little deeper. The prose here has particular verve, making the most of the hippo’s kid-appealing characteristics, such as poo-flinging and crocodile-savaging, and drawing audiences who doze off during gentler iterations of nature study. The mixed-media art ramps up the impact: Trueman simultaneously gives his hippos a touch of picture-book cuteness in their bulbous and slightly smiling faces and a touch of dinosaur ferocity, with lots of open jaws and powerful, crushing tusks. A delicate blend of watercolor translucence and grainy textures in gray and pink makes the hippo’s hide a thing of beauty, and effective compositions for both violent and peaceful moments build the drama. This will make a satisfyingly uncivilized animal story for audiences looking to get beyond “Hungry Hungry Hippos.” An index and a small additional paragraph about hippos are included. DS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.