CM . . .
. Volume XVII Number 13. . . .November 26, 2010
Have You Ever Seen a Hippo With Sunscreen? (Have You Ever Seen).
Etta Kaner. Illustrated by Jeff Szuc.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2010.
32 pp., hardcover, $14.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-8.
Review by Linda Ludke.
Have You Ever Seen a Hippo with Sunscreen? is the fourth addition to Kids Can Press’ “Have You Ever Seen” series of nonfiction picture books that compare humans and animals. The question and answer format is well suited to a primary audience:
Have you ever seen an alligator with sunglasses?
Alligators don’t wear sunglasses. People do.
I wear sunglasses to shade my eyes from the sun.
What do alligators do?
The facts that follow about animal adaptations are presented in an equally accessible manner:
Alligators need to shade their eyes from the sun, too. Their eyes have long slits, or pupils, that let in light. In the sun, the pupils narrow to block out most of the sunlight. A cat’s eyes work the same way.
The comparisons made are meaningful and will resonate with young children. Readers will learn how beavers groom their fur, how seals and turtles breathe underwater, and how peacocks attract a mate. The conversational writing style also lends itself well to reading aloud.
Jeff Szuc’s cartoon illustrations present funny scenes, such as a turtle jumping into the deep end of the pool wearing a snorkel and an alligator relaxing on a chaise lounge and sipping on a beverage from a coconut shell.
Readers are invited to test their knowledge by playing an animal game that is printed on the end papers. Players move around the board and suggest ways in which animals are different or similar to people.
The “Have You Ever Seen” series is a good choice for primary grade science collections.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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