Are we being captious when we say that everything seems wrong about this book? While rooted in the tradition of Thornton Burgess, A.A. Milne and Thurber, it emerges as a shadowy semblance -- an animal land whimsy that fails to come off. The age appeal is gauged for 8-12 by the publishers. We'd place it considerably lower, at, perhaps, a read aloud level, about 7 to 9. ... An aardvark, Hamlet (a pig perhaps 7) and a hippopotamus cavort with an Orlon dog in an idyllic existence that makes efforts to be amusing but fails to capture the interest of this reader.