cover image Hippopposites


Janik Coat. Abrams/Appleseed, $14.95 (38p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0151-1

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 (thanks to inset fur and burlap textures), and many more. The stocky, blocky hippo is more of a template than a character, but it’s an excellent (and fun) vehicle through which to demonstrate the concept. Ages 1–4. (May)