Book Reviews Picture Books

Hippo! No, Rhino by Jeff Newman

Angela recommended Hippo! No, Rhino back last December and it has been in HEAVY rotation in our house ever since (by which I mean that we keep checking it out from the library).

Bart tells me this is one of his favorite picture books ever, and I believe him, since Ella informs me that when he was home with her last weekend, they went to the library and found it and read it multiple times.

The story is about a rhino at the zoo who is forced to deal with the indignity of having the wrong sign put up in front of his pen one morning by a thoughtless zookeeper. Each person that comes over makes some comment about the “hippo,” and the rhino becomes more and more agitated, always responding with something that rhymes with “rhino.” (“That’s not mine-o!”).

Fortunately, after a parade of dense adults and teenagers, a little boy comes along who recognizes the problem and solves it. 

The illustrations in this book have a weird kind of charm to them – they are definitely unusual (lots of bizarre skin colors and odd-looking people), but they work for the story. 

More proof that we’ve read it an embarrassing amount of times? Every time Ella sees a picture of a rhino, she names it and then exclaims, “FIX THE SIGN-O!”

Tragically, this book appears to be out of print, but it’s still available for dirt-cheap on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can bet Ella (or maybe Bart) will be getting this book at Christmas. 

Copy checked out from my local library

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  • Reply Amy September 27, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    This looks like one our whole family would enjoy.

    Speaking of out of print woes, it looked like "Chalk" by Bill Thomson was out of print (I seem to remember you enjoyed that one, too). I was so sad about it, but I recently checked again, and it's back in print, which makes me very happy.

  • Reply Heather September 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    ooh, our neighboring library has one. We'll be sure to give you the verdict.

  • Reply JoLee September 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Rushed right over to our library site to see if we could reserve it, but they don't have it. Boo. I reserved Shark vs Train instead.

  • Reply Jeff Newman September 28, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Janssen,

    Thanks for featuring Hippo! I'm so pleased your family liked it.

    Take care,


  • Reply Peaceful Reader September 30, 2012 at 3:59 am

    This sounds like a book I should be reading aloud in our library! I'll have to order one of those super cheap copies on Amazon.

  • Reply Angela October 1, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Hey! That's me! 🙂
    I'm glad your bunch enjoyed it as much as my lot!

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