A quick game of hide-and-seek with an enthusiastic but easy-to-find hippo.
On the opening page, large, clear, black type reading “Harry is our best friend” appears beneath the image of a blonde-headed boy and a pig-tailed girl sitting astride a big gray hippo. We learn that Harry the hippo’s favorite game is hide-and-seek, but that he’s not very good at it. The subsequent illustrations make the point, depicting Harry attempting to conceal his bulk in a variety of easy-to-spot locations. For instance, he is shown sinking into a big tub of bubbles, cramming himself into the kitchen cabinets, snuggled in bed underneath the covers and crouched behind the doghouse. Luckily, the only thing Harry seems to like as much as hiding is being discovered by his friends, who embrace him in the final spread. Toddlers will enjoy outwitting Harry by quickly finding him in the bright, cheerful illustrations, and they will appreciate the culminating expression of friendship and affection. In Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach, the hippo takes his antics to the shore, futilely hiding, among other places, in the sand dunes, in a hammock and, most absurdly, behind a skinny palm tree.
Not likely to be a longstanding favorite, but good for a brief bit of fun. (Board book. 1-3)