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How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships Hardcover – May 3, 2010
Frequently Bought Together
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What does a water buffalo see in an egret? Why would a badger want a coyote for company? What makes a horse mackerel think he can hang around with a Portugese man-of-war---and live to tell about it? In this fascinating picture book, Steve Jenkins and Robin Page explore these and many other instances of mutualism: the mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships that can be found everywhere in the animal kingdom.
But in addition to the husband and wife team's trademark style of cut paper illustrations and fascinating text, they will also cover new artistic ground. Drawing upon the style of the graphic novel, they will use a series of illustrative frames from different points of view to illuminate just why that water buffalo and egret need each other, exactly how that badger and coyote work together, and the unbelievable manner in which the horse mackeral and man-of-war lend each other a helping hand. Quid pro quo has never look quite like this!
Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, Authors of How to Clean a HippopotamusDear Amazon Reader, Robin and I keep a file of animal facts and images that have caught our attention for one reason or another. At some point we realized that we'd accumulated a lot of information about animal symbiosis, and we thought it would be fun to do a book on the subject. We decided to focus on mutualism, a symbiotic relationship in which all the participants benefit. Quite a few children's books have been written about symbiosis. Once we started really researching the subject, however, we found a lot of fascinating relationships that we'd never come across in a children's book. Most of our books about animals have the same basic structure: a portrait and a paragraph or two of explanatory text. In these books a single image represents one moment in time in the life of an animal. But many symbiotic relationships are characterized by a kind of tit-for-tat, back and forth interaction. This suggested a different approach to the subject--one that could show a series of moments in time. We thought that a graphic-novel format would be an interesting way to deal with sequences of images. We also hoped that this approach might appeal to some of those slightly older readers who've left picture books behind and moved on to chapter books. As authors and illustrators, our favorite symbiotic relationship might be the cooperative hunting behavior of the coyote and badger (unfortunately, it often turns out badly for the prairie dogs they hunt). As participants, the human/dog relationship is definitely our favorite. - Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
(Photo © Tim Tucker)
From School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Top Customer Reviews
Seemingly unusual partnerships like these are formed in the animal world. One animal will forge a bond with another because each benefits in one way or another. These amazing relationships, "relationships in which each animal helps the other," are call symbiosis. This book swirls with animal life telling us how and why these unlikely partnerships are formed. You will find out why the honeyguide (a bird) needs to find a ratel or honey badger in order to be able to dine on bits of honeycomb and "juicy bee larvae." Do you know why the remora "attaches itself to a tiger shark?" Do you know how come the blue butterfly caterpillar gets red ants to "clean and protect it?" You'll read about these relationships and many more in this marvelous book!
The amazing world of "unusual animal partnerships" will fascinate even the most reluctant reader. This book is set up in a graphic novel format and simply pulls the reader along as he or she painlessly learns about symbiosis.Read more ›
I bought several to share with the elementary schools, grandchildren and as gifts for other young readers.
I think it will help support the respect for diversity, work together cooperatively and similar programs at school and at home.
The pictures are great and support the text.
Lucky, lucky us to have such a wonderful resource, created by the talented and amazing pair of Robin Page and Steve Jenkins. More books like this, please!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful book showing how animals depend on each other. Great gift for a child who loves animals. Most appropriate for ages 6-9.Published 14 months ago by teacher
We really enjoy Steve Jenkins artwork. My son also loves to learn about animals. This book does not disappoint and teaches some interesting facts about animal partnerships.Published on February 26, 2014 by Amanda
I bought this book at a small, local bookstore because it looked educational and I hoped my son would like it enough to sit through a few times. Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by theresa