Mouse and Hippo

illus. by Mike Twohy. 32p. S. & S./Paula Wiseman Bks. Feb. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481451246.
PreS-Gr 2—How does a mouse view a hippo? How does a hippo view a mouse? And, more important, can they be friends? This is an entertaining commentary on artistic perspective, but at heart, it's a comical story of friendship. Twohy uses India ink, watercolor, and felt pen to create cartoon depictions of a cheerful though slightly ratty-looking mouse and an equally jolly hippo. They meet unexpectedly when Mouse accidentally sets up his painting easel on Hippo's back. Extensive use of white space draws readers' attention to the action as the unlikely pair bond over a mishap and an appreciation of painting. The first-person dialogue is presented in two different fonts and colors to easily delineate which character is speaking. Similar to Claudia Rueda's Is It Big or Is It Little??, this offering showcases the concept of relative size but in a more plot-driven fashion. The action is straightforward and simple, but the subtle and humorous lesson in perspective makes this book suitable for school-age kids, too.
VERDICT Cheerful characters will give this title shelf appeal and make it a storytime hit and a favorite for art teachers as well.

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