The imaginative Little Hippo is back, this time as a pint-sized firefighter.
Dressed in a firefighter’s coat and hat, Little Hippo jumps into his adorable (and lifelike) pedal car—readers will drool, as it’s the perfect fire engine, complete with bell, ladder and hose—and he’s off to fight fires. But his job is not without its obstacles. He gets stuck in the muck where Big Hippo is wallowing. “Big Hippo bumped and thumped and—plup!—pushed the fire truck out.” Then, he gets trapped by the tall grass (Graceful Gazelle comes to the rescue) and can’t quite make it up a steep hill (Very Tall Giraffe acts as a crane). Then it’s past Laughing Hyena (who laughs at him) and a very quick zip past snoring Lion. Suddenly, there’s thunder and lighting. Could it be? A real fire! Firefighter Hippo’s reaction is spot-on childlike—he goes to look for help, finding it in Elephant. Quite satisfied with the job he has accomplished, Firefighter Hippo heads home to show Mama how he puts out fires, squirting her with his fire hose. More engaging than London and Eduar’s first collaboration (Here Comes Doctor Hippo, 2012), Little Hippo’s story charms readers with copious onomatopoeia. Observant readers can see clues as to the next animal Little Hippo will encounter in the gouache illustrations, which are full of Seuss-ian colors and de Brunhoff–esque shapes.
What job will Little Hippo tackle next? Readers will be there for it. (Picture book. 2-6)