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Book Review: Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind by Margot Finke

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Young Ruthie’s mood changed overnight, her smiles slunk off in gloom.
She wouldn’t talk to Mom or Dad. She refused to leave her room.
Her parents scolded, begged and coaxed, but Ruthie paid no mind,
Her moods grew big and ugly, like some Hippo’s fat behind!

Thus begins this humorous rhyming picture book about the effect that a major change can have in a child’s life and the selfless love that can bring about healing and joy once again.

Ruthie isn’t happy—not happy at all. In fact, she feels as big and ugly as a hippo’s fat behind. That’s because she’s moved into a new house, and that means leaving her old home and her best friend behind. It also means fitting in a new school and going through the stress of making new friends, something Ruthie isn’t willing to do.

Her parents try many things to make Ruthie feel better, but nothing seems to work. One thing is for sure: Ruthie is going from bad to worse. She hates her dad’s jokes; she hates her mom; she refuses to do her chores. She even decides to dress like a crazy person, with a wild hairdo and socks that don’t match, anything to show her anger, sadness, and frustration. Then one day, while Ruthie is sitting alone on the porch, she receives a visit from an unexpected guest and this changes her life forever, transforming her back into the caring, affectionate child she originally was. Want to know who that unexpected visitor is? You’ll have to read the story to find out!

Ruthie and the Hippo’s Fat Behind will keep young readers giggling until the end. It is a funny, sweet story of change, one most children will relate to. Author Margot Finke has a gift for rhyme and it shows in the smoothness and wittiness of her verses. Oregonian artist K.C. Snider’s illustrations add their own touch of humor, complementing the tone and mood of Ruthie’s tale.

A parent-teacher guide at the end of the book will make discussing the story and exploring its theme easier. I highly recommend reading this to a child who has recently experience a "big change," such as moving into a new house, welcoming a new sibling or step parent into a home, or going into a new school.

Author’s website: Margot Finke.com

Find more about this book from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Watch the trailer.

 

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About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.