National Writing for Children Center
Filed under Book Reviews
Reviewed by Karen Cioffi
Title: Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind
Author: Margot Finke
Illustrator: K. C. Snider
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
ISBN (Print): 13: 978-1-61633-059-0
ISBN (eBook): 13: 978-1-61633-06
Powell’s Books: http://www.powells.com/s?kw=Margot+Finke
Barnes and Noble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?AUD=JUV&kids=y&WRD=Rattlesnake+Jam
Guardian Angel Pub: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/ruthie.htm
Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind is a delightful children's picture book that deals with a "big change" in a little girl's life. And, with the first line the reader is immediately hooked: "Young Ruthie's mood changed overnight, her smiles slunk off in gloom."
What a great introduction to a children's story. The stage is set, Ruthie's "smiles slunk off in gloom." Right there on the first page, in the first sentence, you know Ruthie has a problem . . . a big problem.
Due to a family move, Ruthie had to leave her school, her neighborhood, and worst of all, her friends. Everything she was familiar with was gone. And, like most children, Ruthie was having a very hard time dealing with the situation . . . the loneliness . . . and the adjustment to new surroundings.
Then one day, out of the blue, something changes Ruthie's mood: "A whimper came, and then one more. Frowns melted into smiles. A Magic Moment, swirling fast, zoomed in and worked its wiles." This is great writing.
As the title depicts, Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind explores Ruthie's unhappiness and resulting reactions in a lighthearted and amusing manner. With rhyme and vivid description, Finke brings the reader along on Ruthie's plight of loneliness, sadness, and anger with a twist of silliness: "Her moods grew big and ugly, like some Hippo's fat behind!"
In addition to a great story, the book is filled with outstanding full page illustrations that are bold, colorful, and full of life. This combination will have kids wanting to read it over and over. Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind is a book that children will absolutely love, and benefit from. To add to the value of the book, Finke includes a PARENT TEACHER GUIDE. This section offers useful tips and strategies to help children who are facing a "big change." It also includes three links to websites that provide additional help and resources.
I am a huge fan of Margot Finke's work, including Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind. With her expertise in rhyme and story telling, she has a knack for cleverly conveying what children may be feeling in a manner that engages, entertains, and is filled with humor. She also has a knack for magically weaving rhyming content into wonderful images that take the reader on an amazing journey.
Karen Cioffi is an author, ghostwriter, freelance writer, and reviewer. She is also the founder and manager of VBT Writers on the Move, and on the team at DKV Writing 4 U. For information about writing and marketing, stop by http://karencioffi.com/ and sign up for her FREE monthly newsletter - you'll also get 2 FREE e-books about writing and marketing.
You can visit the National Writing Center for Children at http://writingforchildrencenter.com/.