Saving Fiona: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Baby Hippo
Written and Illustrated by Thane Maynard
Describes the life of Fiona, a baby hippopotamus who was born prematurely and raised by humans at the Cincinnati Zoo, and details how the hippo became a worldwide Internet sensation.
Primary Source Pairing:
This delightful nonfiction book gives the reader an up-close and personal look at a baby hippo and her first year of life. There were many dedicated specialists who gave Fiona the chance to survive. Budget enough time during storytime to read all the fascinating back matter about hippos, and be sure to read the back flap about the author. Use this as a teachable moment to remind students that the front flap includes a summary of the book and the back flap of the jacket features information about the author and illustrator.
For this primary source pairing, invite students to view a video published by the Cincinnati Zoo showing the first two years of Fiona’s life. Alternatively, play the video towards the end of book check out to allow students to watch it after they’ve checked out their books and before returning to class.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you see and hear.
- What do you notice first?
- What other details do you notice?
- Who are the people who appear in it?
- What can you learn about hippos by watching this video?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Baby Hippo Fiona’s 2 Year Highlights – Cincinnati Zoo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWkQ_TAQeTo