That's What Makes a Hippopotamus Smile!

That's What Makes a Hippopotamus Smile! illus. by Laurent Cardon. 32p. Frances Lincoln/Janetta Otter-Barry Bks. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781847804556.
PreS-Gr 1—A rhyming tale of the best way to have a great playdate with a hippo. "When a hippopotamus comes round to your house/ don't be worried, or scared by his size./Just hug him and open the door very wide./ Because…[page turn]… that's what makes/ a hippopotamus come inside!" Advice is given on the proper snacks ("Have a great BIG crunchy salad-treat./Because…[page turn]…that's what a hippopotamus loves to eat"), best games, wash-up techniques, and good-byes ("Say goodbye in style./ Because…[page turn]… that's what makes/a hippopotamus smile!"). Taylor's fun-to-read text effectively uses various fonts and sizes for emphasis. Cardon's lively illustrations get facial expressions just right (even the hippo). They are pretty funny in their own right and are a perfect match for the text. Look for the frog that accompanies hippo throughout the story. All the illustrations are spreads with mostly solid backgrounds in various colors, perfect for storytime. Pair this title with Laura Numeroff's If You Give a Moose a Muffin (HarperCollins, 1991) for an "if and then" themed program.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

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