You Can't Build a House If You're a Hippo

by Fred Ehrlich , illustrated by Amanda Haley

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From nests, burrows, huts, and holes, to igloos, houseboats, castles, and cottages, the who, what, where, and why of housing are explored in this newest addition to the acclaimed You Can't... series.

Information with just the right level of complexity pairs with amusing illustrations and sprightly rhymes for a uniquely kid-appealing approach to nonfiction.

Paper wasps build with paper.

Potter wasps use clay.

But whenever you see a wasp's nest.

You'd best run far away!

Each section includes activities and kick-starting questions that expand a child's understanding of the subject matter.

Textbooks won't kids laugh, but by making each topic personal fun, kids will want to read the You Can't... books because they are all about THEM!

Common Core Correlation

(Grades 2-4 Informational Text)

  • Connection between a series of scientific ideas
  • Knowledge & use of various text features
  • Meaning of academic words & phrases
  • Explanation of what happened & why

About The Author/Artist

Fred Ehrlich, M.D. drew on both his professional experience and talent for whimsical rhymes to author several of the titles within the You Can't... series. He lives in Massachusetts.

Amanda Haley has used her artist's "tools" to portray every topic in the You Can't... series. For any necessary "repairs", Amanda uses... an eraser! She lives in Virginia with her husband and their beloved dog.


Jacketed Hardcover


USA 16.99 | Canada 18.5

ISBN Number


On Sale Date