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Book Reviews

HIPPOS ARE HUGE by Jonathan London Illustrated by Matthew Trueman…MN Star of the North nominee

Hippos Are Huge is a fantastic nonfiction picture book about hippos.  Matthew Trueman’s illustration are large and captivating on each page.  They have the effect of making the hippos seem adorable in a way similar to illustrator Charles Fuge’s work and yet they never lose the realism that keeps the book squarely in the nonfiction genre.

Each page is a combination of larger, more easily accessible hand print and smaller typeface.  The larger print has more general information about hippos and their young and the smaller print has specific information.  Due to this construction the book can be read using just the large or just the small print, or a combination of the two.

There is also a child-friendly index at the back of the book that provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn and practice how to use an index and early research technique.  Hippos Are Huge is a terrific read-aloud for kids who are interested in hippos, or in a classroom as a basis for an animal behavior unit or as an example of nonfiction when studying examples of different genres in the second half of 2nd Grade.

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