Hippos Can't Swim: and other fun facts


Did you know that hippos can’t swim? This hilarious book is full of fun facts about all sorts of animals, from sleepy ants to jellyfish that glow!

Did you know that a zebra’s stripes are as unique as a human’s fingerprints?
How about that ants take about 250 naps per day?
Or that some jellyfish can glow—and that’s called bioluminescence?


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Did you know that hippos can’t swim? This hilarious book is full of fun facts about all sorts of animals, from sleepy ants to jellyfish that glow!

Did you know that a zebra’s stripes are as unique as a human’s fingerprints?
How about that ants take about 250 naps per day?
Or that some jellyfish can glow—and that’s called bioluminescence?

Colorful, humorous illustrations accompany tons of cool facts about animals of all shapes, sizes, speeds, and species in this lively book that makes nonfiction fun!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Vicki Foote
Hippos, kangaroos, bats, chipmunks, and an assortment of other animals all have unique habits and characteristics that are described in this nonfiction text of the “Did You Know?” series. Large comical illustrations along with brief text provide information such as that sea turtles can swim up to 35 miles per hour, and how jellyfish provide light in their bodies (called bioluminescence). The book also includes other facts about fireflies, zebras, raccoons, rabbits, and blue herons. Comparisons are made between the sizes of the blue heron and the hummingbird. A large two-page painting of a blue whale emphasizes the fact that they can grow up to 100 feet long and weigh up to 180 tons. A page titled “More Facts” presents a small drawing of each animal and another interesting detail about each one. The text is educational and could be read aloud to younger children. Independent readers should be able to read the short narrative. Children will enjoy the fun facts and illustrations. This would be a good addition to schools and libraries. Reviewer: Vicki Foote; Ages 4 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
Smooth segues provide the cement for this high-wattage, if less-than-carefully illustrated, set of animal facts. Oswald's cartoon images of popeyed, well-caffeinated creatures crank up the visual energy to frantic levels. Unfortunately, at the outset, they contradict the author's correct observation that hippos' noses are placed on the tops of their heads. In another misstep, both illustration and a thought balloon misleadingly suggest that bats can recognize a passing 747 with echolocation (their range is much, much smaller). For the most part, though, DiSiena and Eliot's revelations are both accurate and just as detailed as they need to be to keep and hold attention. They glide from the hippo's titular lack of buoyancy (they walk along river bottoms) to the surprising fleetness of sea turtles. From there, it's on to jellyfish, which don't actively swim but do flash with bioluminescence—just like fireflies. So it goes, until the parade of facts circles neatly back around to blue whales ("actually the largest animals that have ever lived") and a closing assurance that "unlike hippos…blue whales sure can SWIM!" Though the authors supply no supportive references or leads to further information, they do tuck in an additional "Fun Fact" about each of the 14 animals at the end. A companion, Chickens Don't Fly and Other Fun Facts, publishes simultaneously. The pictures are a weak link, but younger readers and listeners will happily take this quick dive into the sea of random knowledge. (Informational picture book. 5-7)
Publishers Weekly
Animal-based humor and goofy cartoons with the feel of 1950s animation fill the pages of this entertaining and lightly informational book. Bug-eyed turquoise jellyfish with bean-shaped heads and squiggly arms (some wear glasses, hair bows, and hats) “float with the currents of the ocean,” while on the opposite page, a nonthreatening-looking purple shark is paralyzed with fear over a long-lashed jellyfish’s bioluminescence. Elsewhere, readers learn that raccoons are “attracted to shiny objects” and ants “take about 250 naps throughout the day.” While the overall vibe is more Hanna-Barbera than National Geographic, there’s a good amount of animal factoids amid the silliness. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442493520
  • Publisher: Little Simon
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Series: Did You Know? Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 637,412
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD780L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Lyn DiSiena is an art director who loves to write, design, and make crafty things. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her artsy husband and two naughty cats. You can visit them online at OhWellHello.com.

Hannah Eliot is a children’s book editor who lives in Manhattan, New York. Her favorite activities include editing (of course), writing, painting, and doodling all over every piece of notebook paper she uses.

As a seasoned professional in the animation industry, Pete Oswald’s credits include traditional animation, CG, and stop motion. Pete’s work as an illustrator and designer includes Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, Madagascar 2, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, ParaNorman, and Hotel Transylvania. His short film, The Story of Walls (2009), earned him an Annie Award nomination. Pete and his family live in Santa Monica, California.

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