Books, Reviews

Of A Great First Day, Happy Hippos and Posh Puppies

This is a post of a great first day, of happy hippos and posh puppies!! Yes, a totally cute, fun, heartwarming post indeed! A little bit of the old, and some of the new; a blast from the past mixed up with the giftable present (couldn’t avoid this pun)..

Original post was from a Monday many Septembers ago; or more accurately, from the third Monday of September 2011. I kept the reviews as is for the books included in the original post – about the hippos and the puppies! Only changes are formatting/looks related. I included a couple of new books for this upgraded post.

From my original post: It has been forever since I blogged and this week I have returned! hopefully to stay. Here are my reviews of books we have been reading over the past few weeks/months – these go towards Read-to-me-Picture Book Challenge and the Library Challenge. 

This post contains Amazon and other affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself.

The Books

Donut Worry

donut worry - donut and cookie photos for the 'o's in the words.. to ease fears about first day of school

Title: Donut Worry
Author: Christianne Jones
Illustrator:  Jack Viant 
Publishers:  ‎ Capstone Press (September 1, 2021)
Genre: Fiction/ Children’s Self-Esteem Books
Age-Range: 5 – 7 years (and up too!!)
Source: Publisher ARC

Poor Donut is feeling anxious. School is about to start again, and Donut can’t stop all sorts of worries from filling her round donut head. She’s tired of her friends and family saying, “Don’t worry!” As if it’s that easy! Can her new friend, Cookie, help her find ways to manage her anxiety?

My Thoughts

As I mentioned in Sunday’s post, today is my eldest’s first day of school, well college actually! While my conversations with him prove he has it all under control, the mom-in-me feels like telling him donut worry!

This book does just that (maybe I should get him to read it!) It addresses all those first-day jitters in the right way to get you ready, and to meet that first-day head on, no matter what. Adorable and cute characters, bright and colorful illustrations, clever and catchy dialog and storyline, all make this a fun and just-what-you-need read.

Get It Here

 Amazon || Book Depository || Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

Hannah the Hippo’s No Mud Day

Title: Hannah the Hippo’s No Mud Day
Author: Iris Hiskey
Illustrator: Karen Lee Schmidt 
Publishers:  ‎ Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing (May 1, 1991)
Genre: Fiction/ Children’s Books
Age-Range: 5 – 7 years
Source: Library copy

Although Mama Hippo forbids Hannah to play in the mud on the day of Aunt Lily’s visit, the temptation of an extra slimey puddle proves too much for young Hannah to resist

My Thoughts

Who does not love a squishy, mushy mud puddle? Certainly not Hannah the hippo! And when her mom tells her that today is a No Mud Day, she tries her best to avoid puddles, but what can she do when you just happen to walk into a mud puddle. What Hannah does then –  enjoy the puddle – and what she does later – ensure she is back to squeaky clean before mom sees her – is sweet and shows how friends can help each other and have fun too! All the different characters in the book gave me a lot of chances to act them out to the delight of my little girl who fell in love with Hannah and has a new favorite scene (note I said scene and not page) each time 

Get It Here

 Amazon || Book Depository || Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy

Title: Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy
Author: Jane O’Connor
Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser 
Publishers:  ‎ HarperCollins (March 27, 2007)
Genre: Fiction/ Children’s Pet Books
Age-Range: 4 – 8 years (and up too!!)
Source: Personal copy

When Nancy decides to get a dog, she is certain that with the right dog, she can be fancier than ever. After all, a small, delicate, fluffy dog is the ultimate accessory for a fancy girl. But her family has other ideas. They want a large, plain dog. How unglamorous! But Nancy soon learns that there’s nothing fancier than the unconditional love of a canine companion.


My Thoughts

The Fancy Nancy series remains a favorite with us. In this book, Nancy is ecstatic (fancy for happy!) as her family gets ready to adopt a new puppy. She wants a ‘posh’ (fancy for fancy) puppy like her neighbor’s. In an attempt to help Nancy find the perfect puppy for their family, her parents agree to let her puppy-sit Mrs.DeVine’s papillion. Her puppy-sitting adventures help her realize that fanciness does not always relate to looks  but more to what, in this case, the puppy really is like. As always, I love the wonderful vocabulary, the awesome illustrations, and the lessons each book in this series always has.

My daughter loved that Fancy Nancy found the perfect puppy for herself and her family – a unique (fancy for one of a kind) and loving spaniel called Frenchy (ahemmm!).

Sept 2021 Update: Note my daughter was 5 years old at the time of this review! While I still recall reading this book with her, I do wonder how time flies. She is all of 15 now, and just can’t wait to start driving! But she still does want a puppy (well, now she prefers a cat).

Get It Here

 Amazon || Book Depository || Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

Bright Star

Title: Bright Star
Author/Illustrator: Yuyi Morales
Publishers: Neal Porter Books (September 7, 2021)
Genre: Fiction/ Children’s Children’s Hispanic & Latino Stories
Age-Range: 4 – 8 years
Source: Library copy

Yuyi Morales’ first book since her New York Times bestseller Dreamers is a book for very young children looking for their place in a world full of uncertainty. It is a book with resonance for all children, especially those whose safety is threatened due to the immigration crisis in the US.


My Thoughts

TBH, I started off with Juan Felipe Herrera’s Imagine, moved on to Yuyi Morales’ Dreamers, and finally ended up reading Bright Star. I should technically also provide a review of those two books, but suffice it to say that they are both totally worth reading!!

While Bright Star’s focus is on the impact of politics and walls on the beautiful borderlands and on people across the borders, my first thoughts were about parents loving their children. Maybe it is simply an effect of having dropped my eldest off at college and it is his first day there today; but as I turned the pages of this lyrical book filled with stunning artwork, I was thinking of those words as the message to my son as he starts a whole new life away from us.

When I reached the end of the book and read the backmatter (which is a must-read), I simply had to read the book all over again with a fresh point of view. A book that is sure to encourage discussions, and important ones at that.

Get It Here

 Amazon || Book Depository || Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Or similar reads? I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, and welcome all suggestions and feedback. Of course, I also look forward to any and all recommendations.

Linking this post towards IMWAYR to join other wonderful bloggers at TeachMentorTexts.

9 thoughts on “Of A Great First Day, Happy Hippos and Posh Puppies

  1. I remember Hannah the Hippo. I believe we still have a copy of this. Thank you for reminding us about this book. Will try to look for it. 🙂

    By the way, I had no idea Fancy Nancy was a book. I only see this on Disney Junior. Would love to get a copy.

  2. All of these books are great reads. But I would like to personally try the Hannah the Hippo’s No Mud Day (since I can’t stop my son from playing in the mud and puddles) and Bright Star (since we are an expat family living in the US).

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