cover image The Hippopotamus Song: A Muddy Love Story

The Hippopotamus Song: A Muddy Love Story

Michael Flanders, Donald Swann. Joy Street Books, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-28557-5

Westcott's rollicking paintings provide an ideal visual accompaniment to this spirited song by the composers of the Broadway revue At the Drop of a Hat . Stylishly garbed, the lovestruck Hippo stands on the muddy banks of the Shalimar river, serenading the fair Hippopotamine, who is primping on a nearby hill. She joins her beloved after hearing his enticing tune: (``Mud! Mud! Glorious mud! / Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood. / So, follow me, follow, down to the hollow, /And there let us wallow in glorious mud.'') Soon the melody has lured a throng of hippos to the river, where, clad in vibrantly colored beach attire, they surf, swim, snorkel and picnic--in the mud. This merry tale ends with Hippo and his love sunbathing almost alone: their baby hippo is playing close by--in the mud. With or without music--included on the final spread--this versification deserves a hearty hippo-ray. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)