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A HIPPO’S TALE by Lena Landström


by Lena Landström & illustrated by Lena Landström & translated by Joan Sandin

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 6th, 2007
ISBN: 91-29-66603-1
Publisher: R&S/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Mrs. Hippopotamus is the Greta Garbo of hippos. She likes her peace and quiet, and just wants to be alone. She places her hut far from the other hippos’ huts. Each night she takes a bath in a solitary spot on the beach while her seaweed pudding is baking. Imagine her shock when she finds a monkey fishing at her beach! Depressed, she goes without a bath. Her next idea is to build a sort of Victorian bathing booth so she can bathe in privacy within the confines of this structure. Unfortunately, after putting dinner in the oven, she discovers all the hippos love her building, making it very noisy. Upon returning home, the beach where all the hippos live is empty, and she has a lovely, long, peaceful soak. Mrs. Hippo is a problem-solver, a quiet character who continues to treasure her solitude. The fact that Landström allows her character to enjoy herself without becoming social is unique in picture books, even though the end suggests that she might come around. Landström’s illustrations are as always gently evocative with piquant touches of humor. (Picture book. 3-6)