cover image I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus

I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus

Jack Prelutsky, illus. by Jackie Urbanovic. Greenwillow, $18.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-06-201457-3

Anything is possible in Prelutsky’s universe of more than 100 silly, rhyming poems that poke holes in the serious facade of the adult world. A snake performs arithmetic, a boy is puzzled by the rainstorm in his bedroom (“So I’m getting soaking wet./ This is an odd phenomenon/ I will not soon forget”), and a thirsty centipede drinks too much water (“And so the centipede”). Urbanovic’s blithe pen-and-ink illustrations offer playfully literal interpretations of clever hybrids like a “Spellican” (“a most talented bird/ That’s able to spell/ Any difficult word,” pictured with a craw full of letters) and an “Elephantom,” rising from a gravestone. Another effortlessly fun collection from a master of absurdist verse. Ages 5–10. Illustrator’s agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick and Pratt Agency. (Mar.)