Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Hippos Are Huge!

London, Jonathan (Author)
Trueman, Matthew (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2015. 30 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9780763665920 (hardcover)
9780763679521 (paperback)
Original language: English
Dewey: 599.63
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This book is more than merely informative. It is written in a playful narrative that informs as well as entertains. The bigger font tells a story. The smaller font goes into more detail about specific hippo facts.

“First hippo dives, with her ears pressed against her head and her nostrils closed. Next she bounces gracefully along the bottom, kicking off with her hind legs, and gliiiiiiides … then dances on her tiptoes and kicks off again.” In smaller font, on the same page, are facts about speed and how hippos communicate underwater with clicks, squeaks and bellows.

The illustrations are big and full of bright colour and movement, depicting the hippo’s dung-swatting battles and their fierce mating fights. Many of the scenes take up the full two pages to show hippos under water or rolling in the mud with their young. Sometimes a smaller depiction is used to illustrate a specific fact, such as the symbiotic relationship between hippos, cattle egrets and fish.

This funny and informative book is about the “most deadly animal in Africa.” An index is included as well as a paragraph about the hippo’s status as “vulnerable” on the endangered species list.

  •  

    Use a RAN chart (Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction texts) and brainstorm what you know about hippos. Fill in the Wondering column.

  •  

    As you read, adjust your RAN chart to recognize new learning and misconceptions. Continue to fill in the Wondering column.

  •  

    What details about the hippo interest you most? Its size? Its habitat? Research other animals that have the same characteristic(s). Make an informational poster to synthesize your learning and share it with classmates.

  •  

    Hippos are on the Endangered Species List, labelled “vulnerable.” Log onto a teacher-suggested website to research what vulnerable means. What other animals are vulnerable? How can you take action to protect hippos?

  •  

    As a group, brainstorm and discuss what you know about hippos. Write this information on a class chart.

  •  

    Use a RAN chart (Reading and Analyzing Non-fiction texts) to write down what you know about hippos. Fill in the Wondering column.

  •  

    Discuss how the variety of fonts help you understand different levels of information.

  •  

    Using sticky notes, make up titles that show your understanding of the content of each double-spread page.

  •  

    As the book is read, adjust the information on your class chart according to new learning and misconceptions.

  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Science and Technology