Fiona’s Friends (Dr. John Hutton)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Fiona’s Friends, written by Dr. John Hutton and featuring photographs by the Cincinatti Zoo and Botanical Garden, a sequel to the adorable Fiona’s Feelings starring the internet’s favorite little hippo, Fiona.

Baby Fiona is back, this time with a whole crew of equally adorable young denizens of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. After a quick intro featuring Fiona, the reader then meets ten other species of baby or juvenile animals, including favorites – such as a giraffe and tiger cub – and less familiar creatures such as a takin and an aardvark. Each creature is introduced by name and a short, baby-friendly sentence about their personality. At the end, the text cheerfully points out that all of Fiona’s friends are different and special, just like you!

Oh. My. Cuteness. This was a delightful yet engaging yet adorable romp through some irresistible baby animals, and it was a joy. I really appreciated the inclusion of animals that aren’t in every other baby animal book, like the red panda and a white-feathered baby flamingo; it gave JJ a chance to learn the names of some new animals while also letting her recognize familiar ones. This sequel manages to fix the issues from the first book – all the photos are clear and showcase the animals perfectly, and the rhyming text is bouncy, fun to read, and full of charm. This was just wonderful, and perfect for little ones who love to look at furred, feathered, and of course, Fiona friends. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Fiona’s Feelings (Dr. John Hutton)

Hello, friends! We are so excited about today’s review: Fiona’s Feelings, written by Dr. John Hutton and featuring the Cincinatti Zoo and Botanical Garden’s photographs of the internet’s favorite baby hippo, Fiona!

Using real photographs of Fiona’s remarkably expressive face, this beginner’s board book explores emotions like happiness, anger, silliness and pride, using simple rhyming sentences that are four to six words apiece.

Objectively, this is absolutely a fad book, but so delightful that it’s hard to care. For the unaware, Fiona the hippo became a media sensation when she was born six weeks premature at the Cincinatti Zoo, and the internet fell in love with her sweet face and playful personality as the zoo documented her care, recovery, and growth. And indeed, Fiona has a curiously emotive face and a rascally nature that makes a book of feelings featuring her a great fit. The rhyming text flows well and keeps things basic, but still has a lot of charm in keeping with the Fiona spirit. The quality of the photos was a little inconsistent, which was distracting to me, but JJ didn’t seem to notice or care. The length is perfect for the youngest of bookworms, and we really enjoyed it. So whether the Fiona craze ends up having staying power or not in the fickle minds of the internet, this board book is classically adorable enough to be timeless on it’s own. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Fiona’s Luck (Teresa Bateman)


Hello friends, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, we picked a special book for today: Fiona’s Luck, written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Kelly Murphy, the tale of a brave and clever woman using her wits to restore the luck of the Irish.

In the beginning, when only leprechauns and fair folk roamed Ireland, there was luck in the air, and it would settle upon the magical creatures like nothing at all. But when the much bigger humans came, they would catch most of the luck and leave the fairies with none. So the king of the leprechauns had his people capture up all the luck, and he kept it under magical lock and key. Unfortunately, with no luck at all, this caused the regular folk to suffer as their cows dried up and their crops turned rotten. One woman named Fiona knows what happened to the luck, and intends to help her people, not with brawn or magic or even luck, but with her quick wit and clever mind – but can she outsmart the leprechaun king?

This was a very cute little tale that was perfect for St. Patrick’s: it’s a great mix of traditional Irish folklore and a strong female protagonist using her brain to save the day. The illustrations are lovely, and definitely capture the look and feel of an Irish fairytale. The length might be a bit long for very young readers, but JJ sat through it fine and older readers definitely could. This one is a fun way to celebrate Irish heritage and folklore today, or any day! Baby Bookworm approved!