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“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
Summary: Peeper is so excited. Today is the big picnic and diving contest. But he's not hungry, and he's hot on the outside but cold on the inside. Uh, oh! He has a fever. While Mom and Lilypad go to the picnic, Peeper stays home to rest with dad. When the rain came and washed out the picnic, they postponed the diving contest until Saturday. Can Peeper get better by then? The Dr. Hippo series helps kids and parents understand and treat common childhood illnesses.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 7; read yourself: 7 to 9
Interest Level: 3 to 6
Reading Level: 2.7
Age of Child: Read with children ages 4 and 6.
Young Reader Reaction: My kids enjoyed the book. Having been sick, they understand what is going on and helped to explain what the mother should do to help Peeper feel better.
Adult Reader Reaction: Parent 1: Even though fevers aren't new in our house, I still learned something. The stories are enjoyable and kids will "listen" to what the book says ... even if Mom says the same thing. Like the other stories, Peeper loses out on something he wants to do. Although the "second chance" may not happen in real life, it teaches kids to see past wallowing in the "now" and think about tomorrow. Parent 2: I liked the book OK. I love the concept of helping kids become familiar with the issues around being sick. I thought the pictures were fun. I thought the execution, overall, was good but not award-winning. There were a couple of parts of the story that did not make sense in the context of the rest of the plot, or perhaps could be removed (or simplified) without affecting the story.
Pros: Colorful illustrations, sweet characters, and a strong story combine to make this a wonderful book to share when your little one is under the weather. It comforts kids through education and offers a "light at the end of the tunnel" when facing a sickness -- that you will feel better and might not miss out on all the fun.
Cons: None, really. The story could be slimmed down and still be effective.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. Every family with young kids needs this book and all of the others in the series. They are the equivalent to comfort food for a sick child.
Educational Themes: The story is built to convey factual information about having a fever: why it happens, what is a dangerous temperature, what to do to get better. But there are also opportunities to talk about feelings (disappointment, excitement) and thinking positive.