How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships

Overview

How to Clean a Hippopotamus, a book about animal symbiosis, offers readers a close-up, step-by-step view of nature’s fascinating partnerships. Find out why a mongoose comes running when a warthog lies down, how a crab and an iguana help each other out, why ravens follow wolves, and more. Witness the ingenious lifestyles of some of the world’s most unusual animal partners in this book of curious biology, a symbiotic collaboration by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.

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How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships

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Overview

How to Clean a Hippopotamus, a book about animal symbiosis, offers readers a close-up, step-by-step view of nature’s fascinating partnerships. Find out why a mongoose comes running when a warthog lies down, how a crab and an iguana help each other out, why ravens follow wolves, and more. Witness the ingenious lifestyles of some of the world’s most unusual animal partners in this book of curious biology, a symbiotic collaboration by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Who better than a husband and wife team to spotlight intriguing partnerships in nature? Among the many relationships Jenkins and Page (How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?) explore is that of the upside-down jellyfish and the crab it lives upon. “The jellyfish’s stinging tentacles provide protection in return for crab meal leftovers.” Jenkins’s meticulous cut-paper illustrations, as eye-catching as ever, reveal fascinating stories of animal symbiosis on each page. The paneled layout—graphic novel style—offers a dynamic format for these concise, present-tense stories of mutualism, complete with catchy titles. “Dinner is served” reads the spread about a seagull and a sunfish (the massive sunfish attracts the seagull with its fin, and in turn the bird eats parasites living on the fish). Closeups, aerial views, and vignettes of animals realistically rendered in Jenkins’s trademark collage have a cinematic quality. An author note about the different types of symbiotic relationships, as well as appended pages detailing each animal’s size, habitat, and diet, reinforce the book’s value as a scientific introduction to the topic. Ages 6-9. (May)
Publishers Weekly
Who better than a husband and wife team to spotlight intriguing partnerships in nature? Among the many relationships Jenkins and Page (How Many Ways Can You Catch a Fly?) explore is that of the upside-down jellyfish and the crab it lives upon. “The jellyfish’s stinging tentacles provide protection in return for crab meal leftovers.” Jenkins’s meticulous cut-paper illustrations, as eye-catching as ever, reveal fascinating stories of animal symbiosis on each page. The paneled layout—graphic novel style—offers a dynamic format for these concise, present-tense stories of mutualism, complete with catchy titles. “Dinner is served” reads the spread about a seagull and a sunfish (the massive sunfish attracts the seagull with its fin, and in turn the bird eats parasites living on the fish). Closeups, aerial views, and vignettes of animals realistically rendered in Jenkins’s trademark collage have a cinematic quality. An author note about the different types of symbiotic relationships, as well as appended pages detailing each animal’s size, habitat, and diet, reinforce the book’s value as a scientific introduction to the topic. Ages 6–9. (May)
From the Publisher
"These fascinating stories from the natural world will easily interest young people, many of whom will want to move on from the appended notes about each featured critter to more in-depth titles that further explain the mysteries of animal symbiosis."—Booklist, starred review

"Jenkins's trademark collage illustrations continue to impress with their vibrant and stunning manipulation of cut and torn paper. The book is formatted in a block, comic-book style and is written at a level that is accessible to young browsers yet suitable for older researchers. Supplementary information about the size, habitat, and diet of each animal is included in the back matter. This title is another outstanding offering from this extraordinarily talented, wonderfully symbiotic couple."—School Library Journal, starred review

"Who better than a husband and wife team to spotlight intriguing partnerships in nature...Closeups, aerial views, and vignettes of animals realistically rendered in Jenkins's trademark collage have a cinematic quality. An author note about the different types of symbiotic relationships, as well as appended pages detailing each animal's size, habitat, and diet, reinforce the book's value as a scientific introduction to the topic."—Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Jenkins and Page explore the fascinating world of animal symbiosis, depicting the surprising partnerships established between creatures in nature. Some animals forage together for the benefit of both, such as when one debugs another, eating the parasites that pester their hosts. Some aid others in hunting. The pages are filled with multiple examples of these interactions, ending with the symbiotic relationship between humans and dogs. Jenkins once again unearths just the right scraps of colored and textured papers to create naturalistic collage pictures of both ordinary and exotic creatures. The oxpecker bird picks tics off the giraffe; the badger and the coyote cooperate in hunting prairie dogs. Unlike Jenkins' other books, with their large-scale illustrations, most of the visual information here is delivered in vignettes, four or more per page, separated with white borders. Page designs are made attractive by varying placements and sizes of the creatures at work; the brief, descriptive lines of text are integrated for ready reading. The size, habitat and diet of all of the more than fifty featured animals are included. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—This book introduces readers to symbiosis, focusing on relationships in which each partner benefits from the collaboration. While readers may be familiar with birds that groom mammals or small fish that clean bigger ones, more unusual pairings include the boxer crab, which can pluck poisonous anemone, use them as lethal pom-poms with which to chase away larger prey, and then return the favor with stray scraps of food dropped from its imprecise claws. The book concludes with a relationship that will be familiar to many readers—that of humans and dogs. It is a nice way to expand the topic into the domestic sphere, as well as highlighting an area in which the relationship between humans and animals is mutually beneficial, and not simply tilted in our favor. Jenkins's trademark collage illustrations continue to impress with their vibrant and stunning manipulation of cut and torn paper. The book is formatted in a block, comic-book style and is written at a level that is accessible to young browsers yet suitable for older researchers. Supplementary information about the size, habitat, and diet of each animal is included in the back matter. This title is another outstanding offering from this extraordinarily talented, wonderfully symbiotic couple.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Jenkins and Page team up in this packed-to-the-gills introduction to symbiosis. Tantalizing questions open the book, presenting readers with illustrations showing a giraffe with a bird in its ear, an alligator with a plover entering its toothy mouth and a turtle unabashedly swimming up to a gigantic hippopotamus. The illustrator's familiar colorful and dramatic cut- and torn-paper illustrations are the stars of the book, but they are not displayed to their customary advantage. Pages are divided into smaller boxes, some with borders and others lying on top of the larger picture; the layout resembles a comic-book page more than anything else. The text is placed directly on top of the illustrations, running along the side or in separate boxes. The overall effect of each spread is busyness, and there is so much going on that it is difficult to know how to read some of the pages. Fewer examples per page would have allowed a more spacious design with larger illustrations and fewer text boxes, which would have benefited the intended audience. Tiny icons illustrate the three pages of fact-laden backmatter. (Informational picture book. 7-10)
Abby McGanney Nolan
The text is concise and informative throughout, while the illustrations provide a sense of scale, detail, color and drama.
—The Washington Post
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547245157
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/3/2010
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,066,166
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 11.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Page lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband and collaborator, Steve Jenkins, and their three children. Along with writing and illustrating children’s books, Steve and Robin run a graphic design studio.

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.

Steve Jenkins has written and illustrated many nonfiction picture books for young readers, including the Caldecott Honor-winning What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? His books have been called stunning, eye-popping, inventive, gorgeous, masterful, extraordinary, playful, irresistible, compelling, engaging, accessible, glorious, and informative. He lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife and frequent collaborator, Robin Page, and their children.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    Nadia

    BOO!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    I lov diz book nd im 13 YEARS OLD

    I luv how da story beginzi

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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