I Had a Hippopotamus

I Had a Hippopotamus

by Hector Viveros Lee
     
 

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A box of animal crackers inspires a Mexican American boy to imagine what he would do with an eclectic array of creatures.See more details below

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Overview

A box of animal crackers inspires a Mexican American boy to imagine what he would do with an eclectic array of creatures.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
The bestiary that emerges from a box of animal crackers is anything but half-baked when a boy imagines them as living, breathing, purple (and other decidedly unnatural colors-why not?) creatures. These hippos, marabous, rhinos and other exotic fauna offer much more than a cookie ever could. 'I had a kangaroo,' states the boy. 'But I gave it to my grandma.' Grandma makes good use of the kangaroo in the kitchen, its pocket serving as perfect storage for utensils. 'I had a coyote,' says the boy, 'But I gave it to my uncle.' His guitarist uncle strums appreciatively, to the howls of his new singing sidekick. The deadpan narration follows the same pattern throughout the book, with the box of crackers seen only in the first, wordless spread. Debut author/artist Lee paints with a wildly vivid palette, using an unusual technique; India ink is layered with watercolor and gouache, creating a dramatic look similar to woodcut. A winning spin on the notion that 'tis better to give than to receive... an anaconda.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The bestiary that emerges from a box of animal crackers is anything but half-baked when a boy imagines them as living, breathing, purple (and other decidedly unnatural colors-why not?) creatures. These hippos, marabous, rhinos and other exotic fauna offer much more than a cookie ever could. "I had a kangaroo," states the boy. "But I gave it to my grandma." Grandma makes good use of the kangaroo in the kitchen, its pocket serving as perfect storage for utensils. "I had a coyote," says the boy, "But I gave it to my uncle." His guitarist uncle strums appreciatively, to the howls of his new singing sidekick. The deadpan narration follows the same pattern throughout the book, with the box of crackers seen only in the first, wordless spread. Debut author/artist Lee paints with a wildly vivid palette, using an unusual technique; India ink is layered with watercolor and gouache, creating a dramatic look similar to woodcut. A winning spin on the notion that 'tis better to give than to receive... an anaconda. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Armin Brott
Imagine that you have a hippo, or a kangaroo, or a crocodile; what would you do with it-keep it? give it away? On one level, this simple book could be about sharing. Or it could be about learning to recognize animals (does anyone know what a pangolin is?). But what is best are Lee's dazzling, humorous, faux-woodcut illustrations.
Kirkus Reviews
I Had a Hippopotamus ( May 1996; 32 pp.; 1-880000-28-8): A boy opens a box of animal galletas, or crackers, and gives away the creatures one by one: an elephant to a baby brother, a kangaroo to a grandmother. In Lee's first book, polished illustrations with the look of woodcuts allow readers to see that, in the boy's imagination, he is not giving away mere crackers, but real animals, with funny results. The clues to what's real and what's imagined require—and reward—careful scrutiny. (Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781880000625
Publisher:
Lee & Low Books, Inc.
Publication date:
10/28/1996
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,359,228
Product dimensions:
7.80(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Lexile:
AD170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 Years

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