< Board Books

Fiona's FRiends

Say "Hello" to Fiona's Friends!

Fiona, was born six weeks before her due date on January 24, 2017. She was too small and weak to stand and nurse from her mother, Bibi, so caregivers and vet staff stepped in to provide critical care. With help from #TeamFiona, the premature hippo grew into a healthy hippo and an amazing ambassador for her species.

Fiona's Cincinnati Zoo friends are also ambassadors. Some of the species represented in this book, like black rhinos and Malayan tigers, are critically endangered. There is hope for them, but people must care enough to want to save them. Seeing amazing creatures like these at a zoo can inspire that kind of powerful connection and make our planet a better place.

Click here to learn more about Fiona's story.


"Featuring photographs of each animal, Hutton offers playful, rhyming descriptions: 'Elle the gorilla munches a snack. Winsol the aardvark sleeps on his back.' ... but the vibrant photos of baby animals, bookended by images of Fiona herself, offer much to love: 'Fiona and friends are love-ly, it’s true. They’re all very special, just like you!'" --Publishers Weekly
"Readers will be hard-pressed to find a hippo as cute as Fiona, the titular star of this joyful, photo-illustrated board book. Fiona, a resident of the Cincinnati zoo, is a social media sensation for a reason: her vivid expressions communicate a range of simple and complex emotions, from happiness to “swimming proud.” An adorable selection for little ones who, like Fiona, are 'growing bigger and stronger.'"  --School Library Journal (on Fiona's Feelings)
"'Fiona's Feelings' is an incredible board book photo-poem portrait of a baby hippo at the Cincinnati Zoo, born January 24, 2017. Fiona has an expressive face and body, and like all juveniles, she has a variety of feelings which she clearly expresses. Young children will love tracing her explorations of feeling happy, sad, silly, mad, scared, proud, sleepy, loud, shy, fun, lazy, hungry, strong, and loved. The rhyming narrative encourages young readers to identify with Fiona's expression of different feelings, creating ever essential building blocks of language, communication, and other socio-emotional skills. 'Fiona's Feelings' is a joyous board book that small children will treasure."   --Midwest Book Review (on Fiona's Feelings)


Publication Information

List Price: $7.99
ISBN: 978-1-936669-68-4
Publication Date: September 2018
Format: Board book
Dimensions: 5.5" x 5.5"
Page Count: 14
Ages: 0-3


Learn more about Fiona's story with this video from the Cincinnati Zoo:

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About the Author: 

Dr. John Hutton is a pediatrician, early literacy researcher and author from Cincinnati, Ohio. He is passionate about the importance of children connecting with nature and the amazing creatures we share it with, to promote health and imagination.

About the Cincinnati Zoo: 

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was founded in 1873 and officially opened its doors in 1875, making it the second oldest zoo in the United States. Its mission is dedicated to creating adventure, conveying knowledge, conserving nature, and serving the community. Learn more at www.cincinnatizoo.org