Munsinger's illustrations prop up this...tale with a brace of good cheer and well-tempered comedy.
The punchy story line will keep children laughing, and Munsinger's characteristic watercolor illustrations bring the tale to life, making Lester's cretures all the more entertaining and enjoyable.
School Library Journal
Lester enhances the basic story about handling emotions with a satisfying slapstick humor that's beautifully extended in Munsinger's hilarious, wildly expressive illustrations.
The visual humor and the many opportunities for group interaction may win the book its own cadre of storytime fans.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The team behind Hooway for Wodney Wat introduce another memorable character's struggles in Hurty Feelings by Helen Lester, illus. by Lynn Munsinger. The not-so-ironically-named Fragility may be one tough hippo, but she can't take a compliment. When told she has sturdy legs, she cries, "You hurt my feeeeelings!... A piano has sturdy legs. So you think I have piano legs." Her dramatics cause her friends to snub her, until an encounter with a bullying elephant helps her realize her overreactions. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Fragility's name describes her personality perfectly. Her feelings can be hurt by almost anything, even a compliment. Her behavior is even more strange because she is an appealing but extremely solid-looking hippo. Her friends, fearful of hurting her, finally stop speaking to her altogether. One day, however, she joins a pick-up soccer game, playing well until Rudy, and extremely rude elephant, arrives and announces that he will eat the goal for lunch. At first Fragility is insulted by everything Rudy says, but she finally gets in her own jabs and hurts his feelings, in an amusing exchange. Then she calms him down, reassured that she herself really is "a solid piece of work." The story gives Munsinger the chance to create a comic series of portraits of a bulky hippo acting just like a young girl. The contrast of appearance and behavior makes for delightful viewing. The ink and watercolor sketches bring us a whole merry band of animals whose behaviors add to the visual fun. And of course there is a lesson taught in the story as well. 2004, Walter Lorraine Book/Houghton Mifflin Company, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
PreS-Gr 2-"Fragility was a solid piece of work." So begins Lester's tale of a high-strung hippo whose incredibly thin skin belies her great strength. Oversensitive Fragility takes offense at even the most gracious comments and usually ends up breaking down in tears, which finally forces her friends to avoid her altogether. It takes real insults from a bully elephant, Rudy, to teach her to be as strong on the inside as she is on the outside, and he learns a thing or two as well. The punchy story line will keep children laughing, and Munsinger's characteristic watercolor illustrations bring the tale to life, making Lester's creatures all the more entertaining and enjoyable. Children may recognize characters like these in themselves and in their very own classrooms.-Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.