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How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at…
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How to Clean a Hippopotamus: A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships

by Robin Page

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    Bill and Pete by Tomie dePaola (infiniteletters)
    infiniteletters: Bill and Pete is admittedly younger.
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Interesting facts, beautiful artwork, great topic - what's not to love? ( )
  alyson | Aug 29, 2013 |
Many animlas are explored and their relaionships with other animals. GENRE: Informational. This informational text makes great use of text features to create meaning and express important facts. The first thing it does is introduce each animal then describes how these animals interact. ( )
  ariellamendez | Mar 7, 2013 |
Nature is full of symbiotic relationships, relationships in which both partners benefit from an alliance, and this nonfiction picture book is packed full of fascinating examples. The clear, well-researched text gives young readers a solid introduction to thirty-four partnerships, while supplementary materials provide even more information about symbiosis and about each creature mentioned in the book. The illustrations are once again in the team’s award-winning collage style, with paper, feathers and fur meticulously layered to create detailed depictions of animals and their environments. The layout resembles a comic book, with numerous captioned panels per page, and while these panels do allow the creators to include a large number of partnerships, the effect is sometimes overcrowded, and very young readers may have trouble following the intricate layout. Recommended for readers ages six to nine, especially budding biologists and animal-lovers. One final note: while the authors do mention hunting and killing in this book, the illustrations are reasonably non-graphic and should not trouble most readers. ( )
  skcramer | Oct 2, 2012 |
4Q, 4P

The collage art is absolutely beautiful and the subject (symbiotic relationships/partnerships between vastly different animals) intriguing and unique, especially for animal lovers. The layout is a bit crowded (hardly any white space), which makes it a bit difficult to concentrate and follow.
  LaurenDoubleU | May 16, 2012 |
In a series of well-designed panels, squares, and block text, Jenkins and Page present another fascinating animal fact book for preschool and elementary listeners and readers. Symbiotic relationships, from the well-know to the obscure, from marine iguanas to warthogs, are explained and illustrated in simple text.

I was a little puzzled by the apparently random bold text. Would this help early readers? I'm not sure. The art is classic Jenkins and is perfectly downsized to fit into the small panels without losing details or clarity. The end material includes a more detailed explanation of symbiosis and the size, habitat, and diet of all the animals listed. There's also a short list of further resources.

Verdict: As always, Jenkins' and Page's work is a necessity for the library collection

ISBN: 978-0547245157; Published May 2010 by Houghton Mifflin; Borrowed from the library; Purchased for the library
  JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 11, 2012 |
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Book description
This is a book about animal symbiosis, offering readers a close up, step-by-step view of natures fascinating partnerships.  You will find many facts throughout the book like why a mongoose comes running when a warthog lies down, and how a crab and an iguana help each other out, and why ravens follow wolves, and much more.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0547245157, Hardcover)

Product Description 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 Hippopotamus

Dear 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)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Learn about the ingenious lifestyles of some of the world's most unusual animal partners.

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