FICTION

Fiona the Hippo

illus. by Richard Cowdrey. 32p. Zonderkidz. Aug. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780310766391. POP
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 2—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.

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