Friday, July 03, 2020

A Friend Indeed! The Blushful Hippopotamus by Chris Raschka

I am the blushful hippopotamus. Or so my sister calls me now.

Roosevelt blushes when he is embarrassed.

Making mistakes is embarrassing, like dropping the ice cream off his cone, or falling off his bike, or forgetting the number four right in front of his feathery friend, Lombard.

And his big sister never misses a chance to point out his blushes.
"Roosevelt (yes, that's my name), are you blushing again, Baby Brother?"

His sister's taunts make Roosevelt feel smaller and smaller.

And his mistakes make his blushes get even more obvious.
"Darn that sister!"

But his friend, Lombard is one unflappable bird! For every criticism, Lombard finds a new way to praise Roosevelt for his positive qualities.
"A wonderful hippo are you, are you, are you!"

And with every heartfelt praise from his friend, Roosevelt's supercilious sister seems to shrink, in Caldecott author-illustrator Chris Raschka's classic story of self-esteem, The Blushful Hippopotamus (Open Read Media). Belittling older siblings are, unfortunately, not rare, and youngsters will enjoy Lombard's style of putting Big Sister in proper perspective (literally and figuratively) purely with positive remarks. Says School Library Journal, "Size and space also tell a story. On the first page Roosevelt's sister overwhelms the background and bursts off the left-hand page; as Roosevelt gains confidence, the roles of the two siblings are reversed and so are the color scheme and size of the characters.This warm finale should satisfy young children without preaching."

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