Lorna @notforlunch, August 14, 2012
A delightful picture book, just perfect for Back-to-School time! The book opens with Little Hippo's mother pointing out that school is starting soon, and she needs a new dress. Hippo happily takes on the shopping challenge as she tries on lots of dresses that are just so delightful to her. Soon, however, she becomes overwhelmed and a bit frustrated by the choices and even limits from her mother. Will Hippo ever find that perfect dress, or will her and her mom have to call it a day, as even the best shoppers sometimes do? You'll have to read it to find out!
Well-paced with rhyming text, this makes for a terrific read aloud. That rhyming and limited text format, accompanied by great picture clues, also make this an excellent choice for emerging readers. I love when a picture book presents little teachable moments about writing. Descriptive adjectives fill all the pages and become a great way to talk about attributes and why writers might use them. What exactly does snug or baggy feel like? Let's brainstorm things that are sparkly or swirly. Mike Laughead's cheery, jewel-toned illustrations include a variety of animals beyond the hippos, like giraffes, koalas, and even a roller skating mouse that readers will adore.