From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2–"Fragility was a solid piece of work." So begins Lester's tale of a high-strung hippo whose incredibly thin skin belies her great strength. Oversensitive Fragility takes offense at even the most gracious comments and usually ends up breaking down in tears, which finally forces her friends to avoid her altogether. It takes real insults from a bully elephant, Rudy, to teach her to be as strong on the inside as she is on the outside, and he learns a thing or two as well. The punchy story line will keep children laughing, and Munsinger's characteristic watercolor illustrations bring the tale to life, making Lester's creatures all the more entertaining and enjoyable. Children may recognize characters like these in themselves and in their very own classrooms.–Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA
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PreS-Gr. 2. Despite her sturdy size and strength, Fragility the Hippo is a quivering bundle of insecurities. She perceives friends' innocent compliments as insults and quickly disintegrates into sobbing self-pity. It's no surprise that her friends grow weary of her theatrics and distance themselves. Then lonely Fragility stands up to the neighborhood bully, Rudy the Elephant, and the encounter gives her the confidence and perspective to hear sweetness rather than slights in her friends' remarks. Some children may have trouble following Fragility's delusional leaps as she twists compliments into insults, but Lester enhances the basic story about handling emotions with a satisfying slapstick humor that's beautifully extended in Munsinger's hilarious, wildly expressive illustrations of Fragility in all her moods. This is a good choice for read-alouds, but prepare for a chorus of listeners joining in with Fragility's whining refrain: "You hurt my feeeee
lings!" Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved