Fiona the Hippo

(Author) (Illustrator)
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Product Details
$8.99  $8.36
Publish Date
7.9 X 7.9 X 0.7 inches | 1.0 pounds
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About the Author

Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, is a world leading Bible publisher and provider of Christian communications. For more than eighty years, Zondervan has delivered transformational Christian experiences through its bestselling Bibles, books, curriculum, academic resources, and digital products. The company's products are sold in multiple formats, worldwide in more than sixty countries, and translated into nearly two hundred languages.

Richard Cowdrey has illustrated numerous books for children, including Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan, Animal Lullabies by Pam Conrad, and Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins. He is the owner of a yellow Labrador, Murray, whose behavior is remarkably similar to Marley's. He lives in Ohio with his wife and children.

A beloved social media star makes a splash again, this time in picture book form. Fiona the hippo was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo in January 2017. Her precarious arrival and well-documented milestones during her first year of life have made her an international hit online, and her story is loosely retold here. The illustrations of the spirited little hippo with curly eyelashes and other cute animals will charm audiences. Young readers will be encouraged by Fiona's story of perseverance in the face of many challenges, such as learning to walk and swim. They will enjoy chanting her mantra throughout the story: 'she let out a snort, wiggled her ears, and said, 'I've got this!' ' While adorable, it's no surprise that this title was created in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Fiona is often anthropomorphized in real life, and this book is no exception. The upbeat zoo inhabitants roam freely as they discuss her and are eager to play with her; Fiona giggles and talks. VERDICT Readers looking for facts about Fiona or hippo development in general should look elsewhere, but young fans who can't get enough of baby Fiona will be delighted.-Elissa Cooper, Helen Plum Memorial Library, Lombard IL--School Library Journal
Cowdrey (Bad Dog, Marley!) takes an anthropomorphic approach to Fiona's story by introducing a cast of talking zoo animals eager to meet her. Fiona is rendered with a big smile, long eyelashes, and a chunky pink-gray body. Cowdrey conveys the excitement surrounding her birth (zoo attendees in scrubs surround Fiona, taking pictures on their cell phones), and describes Fiona's developmental milestones: she drinks from a bottle and learns to walk and swim. The other animals, which include a tortoise, flamingo, giraffe, and bear, are as captivated by Fiona as her human fans--and Fiona finally wants to meet them, too: 'and thinsp;'Did you hear that?' 'It's our turn to play with the baby!'and thinsp;' Though Cowdrey doesn't give readers much sense of the peril Fiona initially faced, the exuberant animal characters offer an engaging introduction to her story. Ages 4--8. (Aug.)--Publishers Weekly