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Children's LiteratureWith females weighing up to 3,000 pounds and males weighing up to 8,000 pounds, hippos are forces to be reckoned with. These huge animals love to feast on plants and grass. The grass often gets stuck in their teeth and there is a special way to get it out. You will have to read the book to find out how. The photographs are fantastic and show everything from a hippo taking a nap to two bulls fighting. The chapters, usually only two pages long, include three to four sections full of information. Children will be especially interested in the "Did You Know" section. The author has covered a lot of information while using a child-friendly vocabulary. Words that children might find unfamiliar are in bold throughout the text and listed in the glossary. The author uses a unique style by having the hippo tell about a day in his own life. Children will want to revisit the book over and over again. I highly recommend it as a way to introduce nonfiction. The author also includes information about the dangers to hippos. Unfortunately, people kill hippos for their meat and ivory tusks. Farmers hunt them because the hippos damage farmland and crops. But hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal. This excellent book is part of the "All about Wild Animals" series. 2004, Gareth Stevens Publishing, Ages 7 to 10.
—Kathie M. Josephs