Hippo! No, Rhino

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Hippo! No, Rhino Book Poster Image
Thoughtful boy solves case of mistaken identity.

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is nothing to be concerned about in this book, though young children may find it difficult to understand on the first reading.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBob Douglas August 11, 2012


hippos are in nude and rhinos too it is a r*** war
Adult Written bywisemom April 9, 2008

Simply funny

Careless employee labels a rhino as hippo, much to the rhino's frustration!
This book has some subtle adult appeal...Imagine the voices of the characters,... Continue reading

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What's the story?

The rhinoceros gets more and more frustrated after the zookeeper misidentifies him as a hippo. No one seems to notice, or care, until a small boy comes along and makes things right.

Is it any good?

Expressive mixed-media illustrations will draw readers back to this book time and time again. From the growing confusion on the face of the zookeeper to the many moods of the misidentified rhino and the startled reactions of onlookers, Jeff Newman uses pencil, ink, marker, watercolor, gouache, colored pencil, pastels, and cut paper to tell a simple but humorous and impressive story.

But the text is minimal, which means most young kids won't understand it the first time and adult readers will have to add some explanation. Happily, each page offers a plethora of enjoyable detail that encourages discussion and will quickly unravel the story. Kids will love acting out the part of the frustrated rhino and relate to his struggle. HIPPO...NO, RHINO! was named an ALA Notable book for 2007.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about zoos, animals, signs, hippos, rhinos, the birds on the rhino's back, and all the other details illustrated in this almost wordless book. They also might discuss the differences between hippos and rhinos. Why is the rhino feeling so frustrated? How would you feel if you were called the wrong name? What would you do about it? Why do you think no one else but the young boy noticed that the sign was wrong?

Book details

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