Percy Short and Cuthbert

Susie Jenkin-Pearce, Author
Susie Jenkin-Pearce, Author Viking Children's Books $12.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-670-82803-6
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Percy the pygmy hippo and Cuthbert the ``absolutely ENORMOUS pelican'' are the best of friends. Although the other animals consider their physical peculiarities a liability, the two see only the best in each other. They set off to find the enchanted Pingo-Pongo tree--``whoever eats a leaf, can have one wish come true''--hoping to be transformed into more socially acceptable sizes. When the friends are forced to separate in the desert, Cuthbert returns in the nick of time to save Percy from a band of marauding nomads. Finally locating the Pingo-Pongo tree, the only wish the pair have is to be home among friends. Upon their return all of their friends and relations perceive a tremendous difference in the two creatures, which they attribute to the tree's magic: like beauty, normalcy is in the eye of the beholder. Jenkin-Pearce's ( Catch It If You Can ; The Animal Fair ) cartoony characters are sparkling and fresh, and their escapades are totally beguiling. Readers are left with the hope that future adventures lie in store for this not-so-odd couple. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)
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