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HUSH, HUSH! by Margaret Wild


by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Marzo

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-921272-86-8
Publisher: Little Hare/Trafalgar

Baby Hippo's insomnia is a great excuse for him (and readers) to explore his environment. Even standing on his head doesn't make him tired, though he does grunt and groan with discomfort. So he goes for a walk through the rustling reeds. This leads him to soggy, boggy mud; lumpy, humpy rocks; willowy, wavy grass; and shady, shadowy trees. He passes mother-and-baby birds, crocodiles, giraffes, leopards, etc., all settling in for the night. "Hush, hush," each animal mother whispers to her young, and Baby Hippo gets sleepier and sleepier. Barely able to keep his eyes open, he makes his way back to his Mum over the varied terrain in a wispy homage to the classic, cumulative "We Are Going on a Bear Hunt." "Snort, snore! Snort, snore!" sleeping Mum says, to which Baby Hippo naturally replies, "Hush, hush!" Strevens-Marzo's landscapes with animals are attractive and varied (though one might wish her crisply delineated shapes were little more somnolent), and Wild packs in lots of punchy vocabulary words while keeping her simple tale accessible. (Picture book. 3-5)