Mouse and Hippo

Mike Twohy. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4814-5124-6
Twohy (Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!) tells this warm friendship story entirely through dialogue, bolstered by airy, expressive mixed-media artwork. As the book opens, Mouse is seen contentedly painting at an easel on what appears to be a rock in the middle of a lake—but is actually the back of a submerged hippopotamus, who knocks Mouse into the water while attempting to scratch an itch. “Your itch was me... and... help... I can’t swim!” shouts Mouse, flailing in the water. After a quick rescue, a friendship springs up as Mouse offers to paint Hippo’s portrait. Hippo is thrilled with the result—a swath of gray that fills Mouse’s tiny canvas—and returns the favor with an equally droll portrait of Mouse. “You made me look so cute!” exclaims Mouse (the painting is a tiny black dot on a white background). It’s in no way a flashy story, but Twohy does a fine job of establishing his heroes’ personalities while highlighting the rewards of opening one’s eyes to new experiences and friendships. Ages 4–8. Agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2016
Release date: 02/07/2017
Genre: Children's
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