FICTION

The Little Hippo: A Children's Book Inspired by Egyptian Art

tr. from French by Agathe Joly. illus. by Anja Klauss. 32p. Prestel. 2015. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9783791371672.
COPY ISBN
K-Gr 3—Little Hippo begins this tale as one of many blue hippos who call the Nile home. When his friend, an old man named Antef, dies, Little Hippo travels with him to his tomb and rests beside him. When archaeologists discover the tomb centuries later, Little Hippo is frightened and runs away to find his family. This search ultimately brings him to the Louvre, one of many museums that now house his "family" as beautiful relics from Ancient Egypt. Elschner's use of the blue hippo narrative as a mechanism to tie together modern and ancient times rests on the sturdy backbone provided by Klauss's inspired illustrations. The elements of picture and story work together seamlessly, transcending time to bring readers back to the fertile Nile of ancient Egypt.
VERDICT This illustrated history of the blue hippos will first appeal to young readers' visual sensibilities, then give way to an appreciation of this art as a gift to be treasured from a culture long past.

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