Meet the Clyde the Hippo Series by Keith and Larissa Marantz and Learning about Writing a Series ~ by Mira Reisberg
Last week I received 8 children’s books made by beautiful former students, which made me crazy happy.
So I decided to celebrate CBA student’s successes by featuring them each month with my Blogfish reviews. To begin, let’s take a peek at 2 books from the Clyde the Hippo series. I love children’s books that have underlying themes that I can personally relate to. And I also love it when an author and illustrator create a powerful world in a children’s book that sucks me right in and makes me really care about the characters and believe that world. Creating a believable world is called world building even when the main character, Clyde, is a purple hippopotamus and reduced down to his most basic shapes I believe this world and want to spend time in it – and that plus the adorable characters make a compelling series. So much so, that I was sad when I finished reading the 2nd one. Perhaps it helps that Keith and Larissa Marantz are a longtime married couple in creating this beautiful Clyde the Hippo series. I don’t know. But I’m in love.
In the two books that Larissa sent me, Clyde Goes to School and Clyde Likes to Slide, Clyde is a young hippopotamus who struggles with anxiety, making doing anything new a challenge. Luckily, Clyde has his adorable lovey side kick, Orson, a super cute plush dog to help him in a totally passive way and he makes a gang of friends when he starts kindergarten, who also help, along with his ever patient’s mom. I’ve fallen in love with these characters as I’m sure many children will and pretty much devoured them chuckling along while reading them.
The writing is seemingly simple as befits 3-5 year-old children, but absolutely adorable with wonderful rhythm occasional rhymes, and puns and insider jokes for both kids and parents. Have a listen and look see in the video below.
But before we go there I want to talk a little about writing a series. My Chapter Book and Middle Grade co-teacher (Starting June 15th 2020 right here along with a magical 3rd co-teacher from Penguin/Random House/Dial Rosie Ahmed)) Hillary Homzie just wrote a fabulous blog post on this very topic right here called The Four Principles of Series Writing.
I'm also excited to say that Hillary, Rosie and I are also doing a fab free e-class on The Essential Guide to Writing Memorable Marketable Chapter Books and Middle Grade Novels. It's all happening June 6th and will be quite spectacular. Just click here to register for that where besides learning these fabulous essentials, you can also ask any of us any questions you like as we show you how doable writing chapter Books or Middle Grade Novels can be!!
So after that wee public service announcement, let's get back to this adorable series for really young ones. xoxo
6/1/2020 12:49:29 pm
Those books look & sound fantastic! The illustrations are friendly & colorful, and the language is perfect for littles. Great themes too, esp for the pre-k crowd! Thanks for sharing, Mira!
6/1/2020 01:20:34 pm
What a lovely series with an absolutely ADORABLE hippo. I look forward to reading these books!
Leslee Anne Hewson
6/1/2020 01:29:14 pm
Thank you for sharing Mira. These two stories and their characters are delightful. Keith and Larissa have successfully hit upon two relatable worries for youngsters through the worrisome Clyde and Awesome. Who doesn’t love a hippo?!
6/1/2020 01:38:56 pm
Love Clyde. Love his hobbies! And am glad he is working on the issue of anxiety.
6/1/2020 02:34:05 pm
Thank you for sharing and introducing Clyde. He is so cute I am smitten by him. I look forward to purchasing them for our soon to be two-year-old grandson. He LOVES books!
6/1/2020 10:20:27 pm
This series looks fantastic. The illustrations are wonderful, the characters are adorable and the subject matter is perfect for the little ones.
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break