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Fiona the Hippo

Oh, you think it's a bit weird to have a blog about hippos around Christmas?  Need I remind you of the classic holiday hit I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas?  Mr. Justin did an EPIC interpretive dance to it at our Holiday Sing-Along Storytime this year.  Read the books, then watch the video.

Fiona the Hippo by Richard Cowdrey
On January 24, 2017, Fiona the hippo was born at the Cincinnati Zoo, six weeks before her due date.  She weighed only 29 pounds, which is very small for a Nile hippo.  She was too weak to stand and nurse from her mother, so Fiona received around-the-clock attention from the zoo's animal care staff, dubbed "Team Fiona", and even from nurses at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.  The whole world watched as Fiona learned to eat, walk, and swim.  Her challenges were big, but the baby hippo's spunk and incredible will helped her prevail time and again.  Since her birth, millions of people from around the world have been pulling for Fiona to keep fighting.  As she grew stronger so did her social media following.  Fiona became an internet sensation and now even has her own show on Facebook.  Fiona fans have traveled from as far away as Australia, Germany, Brazil, and Japan just to get a glimpse of the fearless and feisty hippopotamus.  Now the star of her own picture book, Fiona takes center stage once again in a whimsical story inspired by her incredible journey.  A heroine for children (and adults!) everywhere, fabulous Fiona will steal readers' hearts and give them the courage to face whatever challenges they might have in their own lives.

Fiona's Feelings by Dr. John Hutton
When the Cincinnati Zoo's baby hippo, Fiona, was born six weeks early, she was too small and weak to stand and nurse from her mother. With help from #TeamFiona, this once-tiny hippo is growing stronger every day. As Fiona explores the world around her, she is at times happy, mad, curious, and playful, as all children can be. Young readers will love exploring Fiona's feelings--and their own--while building important language and social-emotional skills.

Saving Fiona: The Story of the World's Most Famous Baby Hippo by Thane Maynard
On a cold January day in 2017, nearly two months before due date, Nile hippopotamus Bibi gave her keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden a big surprise: a tiny newborn hippo, no bigger than a football. The first premature hippo born and raised in captivity, baby Fiona was an underdog from the start: she couldn't nurse, she couldn't stay hydrated, and she wasn't thriving. But the staff at the zoo knew they could save her. They had to study the makeup of hippo milk for the first time ever and reach out to medical colleagues, including a team at the local children's hospital with superior vein-finding skills, to ensure that Fiona would begin to gain weight and become healthy. She soon became an internet sensation, her pictures and videos garnering thousands and thousands of likes and fans on Instagram and Facebook. Now a Fiona appearance at the Zoo mimics a Beatles concert. But what made this little hippo such a big hit all over the world? And what's in store for her and her family?

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