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May 15, 2012

New Books: Hippopposites

Griffin, our three-year-old, is having a little trouble with opposites; he transposes them. On a cold night, when he wants another blanket, he'll say, "I'm so hot! I need to cool down." And now that spring is here and he doesn't need so many blankets, he'll push them off, complaining that he's cold. It's not just temperature, either--high and low, up and down—you name the pair of opposites, and he consistently switches 'em.

To the rescue comes Hippopposites, a new board book by Janik Coat in which an iconographic  hippopotamus goes through variations illustrating opposites of all sorts, from the simple (small and large, thick and thin) to the more ambitious (opaque and transparent—for which even our seven-year-old poked his head in for an explanation). Like most themed board books, it's simple in aim and execution, but it covers a remarkably wide range of examples, even moving beyond the strictly visual to the tactile (soft and rough).

The mod, colorful hippo icon makes it a quick favorite with the three-year-old set. While I don't know if it will put an end Griff's transpositions, it can't hurt, and in the meantime he's certainly having a lot of fun.

Plus, the book's title put me in mind of this Flight of the Conchords classic, always a bonus. (And while this song isn't, in fact, for kids, I never need much excuse to embed a video. If I did, I'd just reference Bret McKenzie's Oscar-winning song in The Muppets and the use of the Conchords' hysterical "I'm Not Crying" in the currently playing The Pirates: Band of Misfitsmore about which soon....)



[Cover image courtesy of Abrams Books for Young Readers]

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