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Hippo! No, Rhino! Hardcover – July 12, 2006

9 customer reviews

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Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey. Each page instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next. Hardcover | More for ages 3-5

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2–In a simple scenario, a zookeeper places the wrong sign in front of the rhino pen. Rhino is flabbergasted at the error and tries a variety of means to correct the offending moniker–Hippo. He even attempts, unsuccessfully, to knock down the sign by using one of the tick birds that perches on his back as a dart. Finally, a young boy acknowledges the problem and quickly fixes it. Newman uses watercolor and gouache, along with pencil, ink, marker, and pastel, to create colorful, graphic-style illustrations. There is little text, and most of the story is delivered through the art. Readers will relate to Rhino's frustration and his inability to effect change. The two tick birds on his back add some emotional interest to the tale as they show empathy for his predicament. Even though the plotline is slight, this simple story requires skill on the part of young readers to construct meaning from the pictures. A clever exercise in promoting visual literacy.–Carol L. MacKay, Forestburg School Library, Alberta, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jeff Newman grew up in Ashland, MA and attended the Art Institute of Boston. He is the author and illustrator of the picture book Reginald published by Doubleday. He currently lives in Madison, WI.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 1 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books; First Edition edition (July 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031615573X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316155731
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #972,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeff Newman grew up in Ashland, Massachusetts, and attended The Art Institute of Boston. He currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The familiar confusion of the hippo and the rhino sets the action for "Hippo, Not Rhino," a clver but mixed bag of verbal and visual treats. A lowly zoo-keeper (not necessarily a union worker, nor a summer intern, as another reviewer surmised), places a "Hippo" sign in front of the Rhino enclosure, and walks off, whistling. (It's not clear whether this is an act of ignorance or mischief, my own assumption is that he simply doesn't know, but doesn't take the time to check either--the surprise conclusion offers more fodder for debate.)

Rhino certainly knows he's a rhino and not a hippo, and looks aghast at the sign. When two pairs of mostly unattractive people (what, for humorous effect? to show that people may look as strange as zoo animals?) walk by and, also ignorant, call the rhino a hippo--the rhino answers angrily. A nearly bald blue-face women wearing a gaudy purple and fruited (garlic?) hat accompanies a green-jacketed elderly man whose pants look like an artichoke. Above them are messy, purposefully ugly splotches of paint, as if their presumably ugly personalities have leak into the air above them. Natually, they get the treatment:

"Hippo" [the woman]
"No, Rhino" [turn the page]
"FIX the SIGN-O!" [a very angry rhino]

I mention the aesthetics of the "pencil, ink, marker, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, pastel, and cut paper" (from the publisher's information sheet preceeding the book) illustrations because consumers and potential readers may not enjoy Newman's persistant smudgy and garbaged-out illustrations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spicy Mamma on May 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Hippo! No, Rhino! by Jeff Newman is a witty tale of the frustration undergone by Rhino when a zookeeper puts up the wrong sign. Instead of putting up a sign that says "Rhino", the zookeeper puts up a "Hippo" sign. Everyone who goes over to see Rhino thinks he's a Hippo. Rhino becomes very frustrated with the visitors always thinking he's a Hippo but one day, a little boy comes by and knows that Rhino is a Rhino and this makes him feel so much better.

In spite of the grief caused by the first mistake, the zoo keeper doesn't learn his lesson.

Reading this book with your child is a fun way to open discussion about the zoo and the differences between a rhino and a hippo. Being that it has few words and moves quickly, this book would make a wonderful addition to the library of a child who is just learning to read.

- Elaine Russo, BookBoo
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra Newman on August 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Newman's second book is a gem! As with his first, Reginald, he illustrates with an incomparable talent. Hippo, however, is a very special addition to any child's collection. Readers actually have to look closely at the characters' facial expressions and body language in order to tell the story. What a refreshing idea! Kids are not spoon fed ideas or a story with this book; they must create the story themselves. What is NOT said is what is so special about this book. In an age of too much stimuli and information, this is truly a very sophisticated concept and great way for kids to slow down and really read a book, each reading bearing new discoveries and subtleties. Great book!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anne B. Levy on October 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Describing this book is going to take more words than are in it, all of which more or less rhyme with "rhino." And that's good, because there aren't many books that manage to be uncomplicated and hilarious at the same time.

See, there's this rhino. And a sign. But the sign says - you got it - hippo! And it's all the zookeeper's fault. Probably a union guy. Or maybe the summer intern. Then there are various hip-looking tourists, who aren't much smarter.

And then, of course, there's one wise little boy who can read, just like my little boy now, who loves this book to death. Literally. Atop the watercolor and marker and ink, there's a smudge of toothpaste and what looks like chocolate, though it could be gravy, and plenty of creases and bends. I think it adds to the expressionistic feel, personally.

Because you'd have to be colorblind not to "read" the hues as the big, blue hippo sinks into a dark funk, and various characters' green or blue or yellow skin tones say a lot about them too. There's a '60s feel to the art, maybe a touch of those Little Golden Books now making a comeback, but the sensibility is entirely snarky post-modern.

I keep seeing this book atop bloggers' lists of favorites, which it deserves, because you're never too young to feel for the oppressed rhino in all of us.
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Format: Hardcover
Rhino is content with his zoo life, until one day the zookeeper gives Rhino a new - and wrong - sign. Now everyone expects him to be a hippo - and nobody will fix the sign-o. What's a rhino to do? Rhino needs a solution, fast in this zany and fun story which uses a minimum of words and plenty of color pictures to get the message across.
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