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3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  389 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Behold: an opposites book like no other. Simple pairings of words, both expected (small/large) and unexpected (clear/blurry), are humorously illustrated with a graphic and lovable red hippopotamus. Bold colors and surprising die-cuts and textures spice up this elegantly engaging board book. Praise for "Hippopposites" "Nicely done and a perfect gift, your favorite little ...more
Hardcover, 38 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams (first published 2010)
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Shanshad Whelan
May 25, 2012 Shanshad Whelan rated it liked it
I can only give this three stars. Not because it isn't a brilliant little board book. Because it is. But it's brilliant in a way that has more to do with older children, and not necessarily the age child who would typically be browsing board books. The conceit of this geometric stylized hippo that is used to impart a range of opposites is not a bad one. The hippo is a static image, that changes only according to the word it is conveying: "full" is the outline of the hippo completely filled in ...more
Nov 21, 2012 Jamil rated it really liked it
O hippopotamus, yr variations are bottomless!
Oct 23, 2015 Romain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
Cette fois, c'est ma fille qui s'en charge. Je peux vous confirmer qu'elle est très qualifiée pour ce travail car elle possède depuis son plus jeune âge un doudou Hippopotame. Il — enfin dans les faits il sont trois, l'officiel et ses doublures mais chut, il ne faut pas le dire — est très originalement prénommé Hippo. Elle l'adore et ne le quitte pas. A ce titre, elle est certainement l'une des personnes ayant passé le plus de temps en compagnie d'un Hippopotame — je compte les nuits évidemment. ...more
May 18, 2012 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This clever board book takes a hippo and runs through a variety of opposite pairs with him. There are light and dark hippos, dotted and striped hippos, soft and rough hippos, small and large hippos. Then there are the more intriguing opposites like opaque and transparent, positive and negative, clear and blurry. My favorite opposite pairing is the front and side, which made me laugh out loud with surprise. Something that rarely happens with board books! This is truly a modern, hip board book ...more
Aug 13, 2012 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rebecca by: Robin
Thanks to Robin for pointing me to this brilliantly simple board book! A stoic hippo illustrates some basic (and complex) concepts of opposites with visual and tactile elements. A designer's toddler book for sure.
Sep 17, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
September 2016
Sep 25, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: libs642
Picture Book Project
Category: Concept
Source: Notable Children's Book ALA

A graphic of a hippopotamus explores opposites with young children in this concept book. The book is made of cardboard and invites the reader to turn the pages and explore the opposite of words like soft, small, squared, and free.

The illustrations are simple and to the point. With only one or two words per page, the illustrations must carry the burden of representing the meaning of the word. The hippo changes size or color,
I can't tell you how excited a librarian gets when there is a brilliant board book that is published. Perhaps you have all been there? You see a fun board book based on one of your favorite children's books. You get it hoping that it will be the perfect thing for the baby...and there are too many words. The baby doesn't care about anything but eating the book? And the parent just can't wait to read the baby board book version of the book with their soon to be older toddler. Yeah it happens. But ...more
Margaret Chind

Originally posted on Creative Madness Mama.

This is totally cute! A large size board book full of educational value. Including all sorts of opposites all in the shape and form of a hippopotamus. What I love about this book is that there are normal opposites that are often taught such as small/large, but there are neat ones like dotted and striped too and don't forget the textures between soft and rough. This is great for my toddler who is almost a preschooler as well as my baby who us almost a to
Book 25 Bibliographic Citation:
Coat, J. (2010). Hippopposites. New York, NY: Abrams Appleseed Books.

Age/Grade Level: (Ages 3–8, Preschool, Grades K–3)

A hippopotamus experiences artistic portrayal as a series of opposite words.
Awards/Reviewing Sources:
Kirkus Reviews (July 1, 2012)
Publishers Weekly (April 16, 2012)
School Library Journal (August 1, 2012)
Curriculum Content/Standard for 21st Century Learner:
This book would be a fun read for a literacy class lesson on opposites. It would also
Apr 13, 2012 Marika rated it really liked it
There are so many concept board books that it's easy to get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. But Janik Coat brings life, innovation, and laughs to Hippopposites. While the book starts with a basic small/large spread, it quickly moves to more interesting comparissons, including full/empty in which a layer of the cardboard has been physically removed from the book so that children can feel the depression. Opaque/transparent is another innovative spread- I'm certain there's a ...more
Kathryn Edmunds
Feb 23, 2014 Kathryn Edmunds rated it really liked it
Shelves: 642-books
Summary: This book uses a red hippo to describe the differences between opposite phrases. The hippo starts by showing the difference between large and small and goes even further to describe opaque and transparent.

Genre: Concept Picture Book

Curriculum Connection: I would love to use this book to grab the students attention before discussing antonyms. We would read the book aloud and go through discussing how each word is the complete opposite of the other. Then, they could come up with their own
Sep 29, 2012 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Genre: Informational/Concepts

Review:French illustrator Coat blends a quirky sensibility with a slick visual aesthetic in a fairly comprehensive book about opposites starring a red hippopotamus that has been pared down to a bell-shaped head, a blockish behind, and two dots for eyes. The qualities and color of the hippo change to demonstrate antonyms like light and dark (the hippo is shown in pale yellow and black), thick and thin (its outline thickens), opaque and transparent, soft and rough (tha
Oct 10, 2013 Asho rated it really liked it
This book is great because it's appealing to both parent and child. I thought the hippo was adorable, and the opposite pairs illustrated by said hippo were clever. My 19 month-old son liked looking at the pictures and especially enjoyed the tactile nature of some of the pages, like the "soft" and "rough" page. In fact, as we flipped through the book together he kept going back to that page again, and again, and again...fortunately the book is nothing but an opposite pair listed on each page, so ...more
May 24, 2012 Mymcbooks rated it it was amazing
My Review: In this book the Hippo introduces all sorts of concepts in this fun board book. The concept of opposites such as light and heavy, using thin and thick lines to draw out the Hippo and using black dots to show positive and white dots to show negative. It also shows the Hippo standing in front of a tree and behind showing the Hippo behind the tree and so on.

This is a great concept for early learning and the illustrations are simple and will hold the attention of any child.

To order a cop
Ages 1-5. I love the concept of this board book, but there were some things about it that were disappointing to me. I anticipated that this book was for babies, 1-2 years old. And it definitely is in some respects. The opposites "soft" and "rough" impressed me because each featured a soft and rough fabric. But then there were words like "opaque" and "transparent" that I found would be difficult to describe to a young child. And the images for "positive" and "negative" seemed like they would be ...more
May 11, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals, concept-book
This visually appealing board book uses a red-hued hippo to teach the concept of opposites such as light and heavy, clear and blurry, left and right. Although the lines used in the illustrations are quite simple, they are interesting and eye-catching and guaranteed to prompt repeated reading. Young readers will love the two pages with soft and rough textured cloth that allows them to feel the differences between the two for themselves. Although the book covers a lot of territory, it doesn't try ...more
Drew Graham
Jun 16, 2015 Drew Graham rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
There are a lot of opposites in the world, and one geometrically-inclined hippopotamus is determined to share some of them with the world.

Something about this simple, graphic book of opposites just doesn't work for me. Maybe it's the design or the color of the hippopotamus, or the pretentious nature of some of the opposites ("front" and "side" especially... not to mention that those aren't even really opposites). For a board book it's a bit big for little hands, but The Boy seems to like it well
Mar 23, 2013 Chelsea rated it it was ok
2013 ALSC Notable

Coat, Janik. Hippopposites. New York: Appleseed Books, 2012. Print. 36 p.

This funky board book introduces the very young to opposites. The book is thick and somewhat heavy, physically a bit difficult for young fingers to manipulate. One basic shape is used throughout; an abstract hippopotamus shape. Minimilsitc throughout, the board book uses quiet humor to define opposites, such as clear and blurry, and full and empty. Additional features include a few touch and feel pages, the
Jan 14, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
I picked this up originally not for my toddler (although he also liked it), but for myself. The title jumped out at me and demanded I pick it up. Besides, how can you not pick up a book that stars a cute red hippo? With comparisons of tradition things such as small and large, and left and right, mixed with more interesting concepts such as dotted and striped, invisible and visible, free and caged, and front and side (the shows the 2-D hippo for front and a thin black line for side). I enjoyed ...more
Allison Parker
Feb 23, 2013 Allison Parker rated it really liked it
In this book, there are hippopotamuses... but they're not really hippopotamuses. They are stand-ins for any old shape, a launch pad for concepts. Some opposites are real-world enough, with one hippo riding a hot air balloon and another sunk down in some water to illustrate "light" and "heavy." But other 2-page spreads abstract this animal character out the wazoo, e.g. "opaque" and "transparent," "clear" and "blurry", and my favorite, "front" and "side": apparently the side of the our ...more
Oct 06, 2013 Jessica rated it really liked it
Shelves: 642
1 sentence description
Nice educational book introducing opposites to students.

curriculum connection

personal reaction
Great tool to be used with younger children to discuss opposites. I could see this as being a good story to read and revisit, and also can be used to initiate discussion on a much broader topic of things that are opposite each other.

assessment of visual appeal
The art was fun to look at. There was a lot of texture in the pictures.

Controlled vocabulary, concept.
Oct 14, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
I think that this book is great in early childhood. It is definitly something you can use for the younger classrooms in defining what opposites are and you can create all sorts of activities based off of this book. I love how the backgrounds really detail and identify what your looking for. For instance, the small/larger hippopposite shows a tall building next to the small hippo, and a little animal next to the large hippo. Overall I give this book a high rating because it is very useful within ...more
Michael Duffey
Feb 06, 2014 Michael Duffey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 642-shelf
This book is rather simple and thats one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much. There is this big hippo as you can by looking at the cover, and it is used to show the opposites of things i.e black and white, rough and smooth. The age level that this book is intended for is PreK-K. I would say that the book Hippopposites can be connected too science and logic/reasoning. As I said earlier I really just loved the book for its simplicity. The visual appeal was rather cute too, by having different ...more
Jun 18, 2016 Jessica rated it it was amazing
This very thick board book is a favorite of all my daughter's books. All the awesome illustrations of a hippo described and illustrated in various opposite ways are vivid, engaging, and with some really great textures for little fingers to explore. A burlap hippo for rough and a furry hippo for soft just to name a couple. This book is well made to last and surprisingly educational with some out of the ordinary opposites. I just love this book and so does my daughter... Just be careful it doesn't ...more
Marissa Garcia
Nov 21, 2013 Marissa Garcia rated it it was amazing
This is a unique book of opposites, comparing such things as "free" to "caged" and "opaque" to "transparent", provides an excellent alternative to traditional opposite books. The trim size is larger than many board books, making the simple red and white illustrations that much more accessible. This is a good suggestion to patrons seeking the next step in books about opposites for the very young, but it can also serve older readers in gaining new vocabulary.
Cherilyn Latimer
This book was a good book for young children learning how to tell the difference between two things and to learn about opposites. I like how the book used hippos to show the difference between the way things look or the color of two hippos. I would recommend this book to parents who are teaching their child the difference between colors or anything else because this book would be interesting for he child's eye and teaches them at the same time
Sep 05, 2013 Angelica rated it liked it
Shelves: board-books, animals
This board book on opposites is really great. There may not be a lot of opposites that kids might understand but it really great to learn about them. Some examples that they might learn more about are: opaque and transparent, clear and blurry, invisible and visible, free and caged. Each illustration really clear and drives the message home.

Great for babies or for kids are learning to read.
Oct 16, 2013 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: ala
The hippo takes the reader through illustrations that are opposites. It has wonderful techniques to show the differences without an excess of words. there are a lot of kinesthetic elements to this text: the soft/rough page is an excellent example of this. Although it is aimed for younger, pre-K, students it could be used when the concept of a thesaurus is being introduced as well.
My kids enjoyed the "soft" versus "rough" textured pages and were cool with the rest, but nothing held their attention quite as much. And sure, the illustrations for "translucent" and "opaque" were cool, but c'mon now. My daughter can currently say "Ahc keem" (ice cream), so opaque isn't high on my vocab list just yet.
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Janik Coat is an author, illustrator, and graphic designer. She works extensively with agencies, collectives, and various French publishers. She is a frequent guest speaker at fine art schools and regularly exhibits her work in galleries. She lives in Paris.
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