Fiona the Hippo (Fiona the Hippo)

by Zondervan (Author) Richard Cowdrey (Illustrator)

Fiona the Hippo (Fiona the Hippo)
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade
Series: Fiona the Hippo

Fiona, the famous hippo from the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, was not expected to live. She was born prematurely, at only 29 pounds. But her inspiring story of spunk and determination captured hearts around the world. Fiona the Hippo, by New York Times bestselling artist Richard Cowdrey (Bad Dog, Marley) tells the story of smart, sassy, and fearless Fiona. Readers will cheer on Fiona as she defeats the odds and becomes a happy, healthy hippopotamus.

Fiona the Hippo teaches children:

  • Anything is possible with positivity and perseverance
  • To never give up, no matter what the odds
  • Love and support from others are powerful

In this whimsical and inspiring tale, children will:

  • Laugh as they read about Fiona letting out a snort, wiggling her ears, and saying, "I've got this."
  • Be delighted to meet Fiona's lovable animal friends at the zoo

Fiona the Hippo is a heroine for children and adults everywhere, and smart, sassy, fearless Fiona will steal hearts and give readers the courage to face whatever challenges they might have in their own lives.

Check out other titles in the Fiona the Hippo series:

  • Fiona, It's Bedtime
  • A Very Fiona Christmas

More books in the series - See All

Publishers Weekly

Cowdrey (Bad Dog, Marley!) takes an anthropomorphic approach to Fiona's story by introducing a cast of talking zoo animals eager to meet her. Fiona is rendered with a big smile, long eyelashes, and a chunky pink-gray body. Cowdrey conveys the excitement surrounding her birth (zoo attendees in scrubs surround Fiona, taking pictures on their cell phones), and describes Fiona's developmental milestones: she drinks from a bottle and learns to walk and swim. The other animals, which include a tortoise, flamingo, giraffe, and bear, are as captivated by Fiona as her human fans--and Fiona finally wants to meet them, too: " 'Did you hear that?' 'It's our turn to play with the baby!' " Though Cowdrey doesn't give readers much sense of the peril Fiona initially faced, the exuberant animal characters offer an engaging introduction to her story. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2--A beloved social media star makes a splash again, this time in picture book form. Fiona the hippo was born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo in January 2017. Her precarious arrival and well-documented milestones during her first year of life have made her an international hit online, and her story is loosely retold here. The illustrations of the spirited little hippo with curly eyelashes and other cute animals will charm audiences. Young readers will be encouraged by Fiona's story of perseverance in the face of many challenges, such as learning to walk and swim. They will enjoy chanting her mantra throughout the story: "she let out a snort, wiggled her ears, and said, 'I've got this!'" While adorable, it's no surprise that this title was created in partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Fiona is often anthropomorphized in real life, and this book is no exception. The upbeat zoo inhabitants roam freely as they discuss her and are eager to play with her; Fiona giggles and talks. VERDICT Readers looking for facts about Fiona or hippo development in general should look elsewhere, but young fans who can't get enough of baby Fiona will be delighted.--Elissa Cooper, Helen Plum Memorial Library, Lombard, IL

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
August 20, 2018
Fiona the Hippo

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