This brightly hued board book follows the meanderings of a merry hippo. Visually very engaging, the book loses only some of its allure in the disjointed nature of the text. At moments, it fails to sustain any sort of flow necessary to engage readers. ""Flutter by butterfly, Maurice is a little shy"" opens the book, immediately evoking sympathy for the demure hippo trotting off the page; a bewildering, seemingly unrelated rhyme follows--""Double bubble, shampoo shake, Maurice goes and blows a lake."" Some rhymes effectively capture the silliness children love, such as ""Maurice tries a wiggly wig--prickle, tickle, thingumajig,"" with the attendant illustration depicting a green, many-legged ""thingumajig"" creeping over Maurice's astonished eyes. The ingenious illustrations balance other lines, which by themselves would fall flat, e.g., ""Smiley piggy potamus, what else has he gotamus?"" is accompanied by the wonderful scene of a happy hippo peering from behind a pig mask. The story may not exhibit much follow-through, but the large, simple figures situated on vivid backgrounds and the poking about of the hippo all the way to his birthday party will have preschoolers eager for each turn of the page.