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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
Kubwa the hippopotamus saw Zuri the giraffe as he peered above the river water level. Zuri had long legs, a neck that stretched high, and was skinny. Even her nose was skinny, and Kubwa called her skinny. Zuri was annoyed and she told Kubwa that he was tubby, had a big mouth, and fat cheeks. She told Kubwa she could eat fresh, clean leaves from the tall trees, and he was eating the grass which he walked on and where other animals had pooped. Zuri went on to say she was the tallest animal in the world. Five other hippopotamuses put their heads out of the water and asked Kubwa who his skinny friend was. They both started arguing with each other but suddenly something dreadful happened!
Skinny Legs and Fat Cheeks by Joseph Cassis is an adorable story about friendship, being unique, self-love, and accepting the differences of others. It is interesting how Kubwa and Zuri call each other names, and how they end up helping each other when there is a crisis. The facts about giraffes and hippopotamuses are quite informative and educational to young readers, and will also create an awareness of the challenges faced by giraffes in the wild. The author's illustrations breathe life into the story and give it a good pace and movement. It is a beautiful story and Joseph Cassis beautifully portrays Zuri and Kubwa, making their personalities and characters memorable. Skinny Legs and Fat Cheeks is good for read-aloud and storytelling sessions in classrooms and homes because of the positive message it conveys, thereby helping children to be happy with themselves and accepting of themselves and others for what they are.