Monday, October 15, 2018

Welcome in Fall with a Good Book: Fiona the Hippo by NY Times Best-Selling Illustrator Richard Cowdrey (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

As part of our homeschooling, each Friday we do "Funday Friday."  Instead of just doing paperwork and lessons all day, we shake things up and do fun things.   Even though the girls think they aren't doing school work, I try to incorporate some teaching into the mix, but in a fun way.  This past Friday after our weekly art class, we came back home and read a cute new children's book by NY Times Best Selling Illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, called Fiona the Hippo.  

When I showed the girls the book, they remembered me showing them footage of this hippo who was born pre-maturely at the Cincinnati Zoo, and has be documented in news stories, and there is even a Fiona Facebook page you can follow along.  Before read sat down to read the book, I shared a few of the clip about Fiona which aired on ABC News and CBS News, before heading over to The Fiona Show Facebook page, where the girls got to see Fiona the Hippo up close

Their favorite videos on the Facebook page were Fiona A-Z and her morning routine.  I knew the girls would ask if we could visit Fiona, but I reminded them that she is housed over in Cincinnati Ohio at the Cincinnati Zoo, which is a long way from our house here in CT. But, through this fun and educational Facebook channel and books like the new Fiona the Hippo one, we can get up close and personal with the not so small anymore hippo who was born six 6 weeks premature, and is the smallest hippo ever to survive.  Her story is truly a remarkable one, and I am so happy that a children's book was made to share Fiona's story to children of all ages.  

Fiona the Hippo celebrated her 1st birthday back on Jan. 24th, and she continues to rack up new followers on her Facebook channel and the Cincinnati Zoo has reported a record attendance up by 20 percent in 2017, thanks to the amazing Hippo, who story is now internationally known.

Here is more about the new children's book, available as of August 7, 2018 from Zonderkidz:

"Fiona is starring in her very own illustrated picture book!

"Fiona the Hippo," by New York Times bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey of Bad DogMarley fame, tells the story of Fiona, the adorable Internet sensation from the Cincinnati Zoo who captured hearts around the world with her inspiring story and plucky personality.
Born prematurely, at only 29 pounds, Fiona was not expected to live. But her spunk and determination helped her thrive and become a happy, healthy hippopotamus. With every challenge she faced, Fiona let out a snort, wiggled her ears, and said "I've got this." And she did! In this delightful story, inspired by the real adventure of this heroic hippo, join Fiona and her lovable animal friends at the zoo as she is introduced to the world in this whimsical and inspiring tale of perseverance and friendship."
  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 7, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310766397
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310766391
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches


My girls really enjoyed this cute story that re-introduced them to Fiona, in a fun way. They really liked the playful drawings done by Richard Cowdrey, which feature Fiona and her other animal friends at the Cincinnati Zoo.  

I ended up picking up another copy of this book for my girls to give their friend as part of her upcoming birthday gift.  She was with us on our field trip recently to the zoo, and lingered at the hippo exhibit.  Knowing how much she likes hippos, my girls said that this would be the perfect book to get her, along with a cute plush hippo to snuggle with.  And, I couldn't agree more, as I, too, thoroughly enjoyed this story, that was not on fun to read, but inspirational at the same time.

If you homeschool like we do, or you simply like to do educational activities with your child after reading a new book, then you will want to check out the free Fiona the Hippo Activity Kit and Curriculum Kit available from the Zondervan website.  

Download here

Download here

I printed these two kits out and did with my girls on Friday, after we watched the videos and read this cute new children's book about Fiona.  The girls really enjoyed the maze and making their very own Fiona Mask.  And, I loved having a curriculum at my disposal that included discussion questions and writing prompts for the girls, to make sure they truly understood the content and story shared, and could elaborate on what they learned.

My girls haven't stopped talking about Fiona since reading this book on Friday, and spent part of our drives this weekend schooling my husband, who wasn't aware of this celebrity hippo...but, now thanks to my girls talking his ear off, and them showing him the Fiona Facebook channel, he, too, is now in the know, and is now a fan of this cute hippo that has stolen everyone's heart, all around the world. 

If you are looking for a fun book to share with your child, that is based on a real-life story, then you will want to check out Fiona the Hippo, available now in hardcover or as a boardbook from Zonderkidz. 


About the Illustrator:


Richard Cowdrey's bestselling children's books include Legend of the Candy CaneBad DogMarley, and A Very Marley Christmas.

"Richard Cowdrey's favorite things to draw and paint are the common things seen everywhere in nature. He especially enjoys capturing the expressions, eyes, and gestures of both humans and animals. Drawing and painting Fiona was challenging as the hippopotamus is a very unique yet beautiful creature!
Learn more"

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

No comments :

Post a Comment