Roxie Munro
Roxie Munro talks about her new book, Rodent Rascals.

Common Core State Standards
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CCSS Questions


A Hippo in Our Yard
by Liza Donnelly
Liza Donnelly, Illustrator

Reinforced | 32 pages | 9 1/4 x 9 | US$ 16.95
ISBN: 9780823435647 | 02-28-2016

Also available as an ebook.

Grade: KINDERGARTEN | Age: 4 to 7

Themes: Animals/Fiction, Humor, Easy Readers
Recommendations: K, SLJ

CCSS Codes:
RF.1.1, 2, 3, 3c, 4, 4a, 4b, 4c
RL.1.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9
L.1.1, 1b, 1d, 2, 2b, 4, 5, 5b, 5c, 6
W.1.2, 3, 5, 7, 8
SL.1.1, 1a, 1b, 1c, 2, 4, 5, 6

About the Book

Nobody in Sally's family believes that there is a menagerie of animals outside, but Sally proves them wrong in this humorous, fantastical picture book.

When Sally informs her mom that there is a hippo in the yard, Sally's mother is dismissive. "I don't think so, dear," she tells her daughter, barely looking up from her lunch. "I will give it some lettuce," Sally says, grabbing a leaf from her mom's bowl. Hippo is happy, but now the tiger in the tree is hungry. Sally's father is also disbelieving, so Sally just feeds the big cat some tuna. As with her parents, Sally's sister is unmoved by her tale of zebras in the garage, and even Nana refuses to set her knitting aside when Sally tells her about bears in the hammock.

Meanwhile, the phone rings, and the family is in for a shock. Zoo animals are on the loose! A frantic search finds Sally atop a hippo in their yard, along with several other satisfied animal friends.


"Donnelly's ink-and-watercolor artwork has a steady energy, finely choreographed and sure of hand while possessing a delicacy that makes for a nifty encounter between child and beast."—Kirkus Reviews

"A simply sweet (but not saccharine) tale for storytime sharing."—School Library Journal

Classroom Discussion Questions with CCSS:

1. Did you believe Sally as you were reading the story? Explain what you thought was really happening. SL.K-1.1

2. Compare and contrast the actions of Sally’s family at the beginning and end of the story. RL.K-1.3

3. Find the part in the story when Sally’s family believes her. How does Liza Donnelly let the reader know what is happening? (Through details and illustrations.) RL.K-1.7

4. Sort the following vocabulary words from the story into two categories (zoo animals or food): hippo, lettuce, tiger, tuna, zebra, grapes, koalas, carrots. L.K-1.5a