Hidden Hippo

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

On safari, an unseen narrator hopes "to see/A hippo or two,/Perhaps even three?" Clever rhyming verse details the spectacular sights along the way, such as lions, chimpanzees, and sleepy leopards, "Relaxing in trees." This expansive tour of the African Plains is brought to life through Beaton's signature fabric appliqué collages. Gray felt elephants splash themselves clean with streams of water accented by silver beads. Crocodiles with shiny sequined scales lounge on a textured shore. The vibrant colors capture the hot, arid habitat. Observant readers will spot the "hidden hippo" on each spread-sometimes peeking up from the water, or disguised as a rock, or partially obscured by a tree. Endnotes include descriptions of the featured animals as well as information on recent efforts to protect endangered species. Young adventurers and conservationists alike will pore over this visually stunning story.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada

Kirkus Reviews
This rhyming, interactive safari romp introduces animals of the African plains with Beaton's trademark full-page spreads created in decorative fabric and colorful felt applique. "When I went exploring, / I wanted to see / A hippo or two, / Perhaps even three?" Spotting the hidden hippos will keep little explorers busy as they search among the flamingos, lions, chimpanzees, zebras, wildebeests, elephants, giraffes and the small, quick dik-diks (tiny antelopes). And just when those gray felt blobs have faded into the background, a loud, surprising splash will reveal "a hippo- / As quick as a flash!" Succinct, informative paragraphs for each featured creature combine with a "Meet the Hippo!" page and information about the conservation efforts of various wildlife societies to complete this lively tour delivered in simple, easily recited verse. For flannel storyboard choices, this one provides some clear and basic ideas. A delightfully tame excursion. (Picture book. 3-6)
Children's Literature - Norah Piehl
A hippo hides—often in plain view—on every two-page spread of this picture book. The rhyming narrative introduces readers to animals of the African savannah: well-known mammals such as elephants, lions, and giraffes as well as lesser-known animals such as dik-diks and wildebeests. All the time, however, the narrator expresses a desire to see a hippopotamus, one that the youngest readers will find funny, as they successfully spot the "hidden" hippo that the narrator fails to notice. This "find the hippo" game will be too easy for older children, but they may appreciate the short factual paragraphs about each of the African animals at the end of the book. A mini-essay on endangered species (complete with Web site links) and a longer introduction to hippos close out the supplementary materials. The unusual illustrations—collages constructed of fabric, thread, and beads—provide both color and texture. Each two-page spread vividly illustrates the diversity and vitality of life on the African plains with a color palette of vibrant blues, greens, and browns. Reviewer: Norah Piehl
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846863295
  • Publisher: Barefoot Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

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