A mysterious pink spot on Hippo’s bum provides the MacGuffin for a lottamus of silly wordplay capped by a deliciously gross denouement.
“You sat in a breezle / And caught a diseasel,” says Weasel. “There’s only one treatment. / Exposing your seatment / To sunshine and heatment.” Alas, neither that prescription nor other rhyming diagnoses and remedies provided by Fox (“It’s hippopox!”), Beaver, Shrew, Snake and other helpful animals make a spot of difference. The look of worry on Hippo’s big, blobby face in Ross’ loosely drawn and brushed watercolors changes to a smile only after a small lad wanders by and provides the proper diagnosis: “That’s my bubble gum!” he exclaims, pulling it off and proceeding to chew. Look for uproarious responses from young audiences, especially at the final page turn.
Eeeew. But in a good way. (Picture book. 5-7)