What’s the deadliest animal in Africa? It’s not the lion or the crocodile–it’s the hippopotamus! Hippos have razor-sharp tusks, weigh as much as fifty men and can run 25 miles per hour! Follow these hefty hulks as they glide underwater, play tug-of-war, swat balls of dung at one another and nuzzle their young in the mud.
Hare, Hippopotamus, and Elephant all live together in the forest. But often, when Hippopotamus and Elephant have nothing better to do, they tease Hare and say horrid things to him. When Hare finally gets fed up with them, he conceives a plan: he will challenge each of the massive creatures to a tug-of-war competition. On either side of the trees, Elephant and Hippopotamus pull and tug all through the night, incredulous that Hare could be so strong!
Bertie, a young hippopotamus, wants to drink coffee, read the newspaper, use a credit card, and more, just like Daddy, who appeases the eager hippo with age-appropriate options such as making a newspaper hat. At story’s end, the tables turn when Daddy wants to play like Bertie.
It’s Bertie’s birthday, and he’s going to have a birthday party! There’s a birthday cake to be made, and decorations to be hung, and games to be played, and best of all, presents to be opened. But where is Daddy’s present? Daddy has hidden it so well, he cannot find it himself.
Life for the little hippos is always the same: diving and swimming to their hearts’ content. Except the hippos think that it would be more fun if their diving board could be higher, as high as Tall Cliff. But they’re not allowed to go to Tall Cliff because it’s too dangerous. Each day they ask if they can, and each day they are told no. Finally, one day they are allowed to go there to bathe – cheers and jubilation. They are happy and hungry when they are swimming home, and they completely forget to watch out for trouble.
Deep in the middle of Africa, at the river’s edge where the hippos live, life is pleasant. The big hippos like to relax at the beach, while the little hippos love diving. Mrs. Hippopotamus enjoys having quiet time all to herself, especially when bathing. She even has her beach, where she takes a bath in peace. But then a monkey shows up and disturbs her solitude. What is Mrs. Hippopotamus to do? She comes up with a fantastic solution, one, as it turns out, that all the hippos like.
Something unusual has happened at the river’s edge where the hippos live–two new hippos have arrived! They like the beach, all the space, and the diving board. But it’s not easy being the new arrivals. All day the new little hippo watches the other hippo kids play in the water, but she’s not allowed to join in their games. Meanwhile, the new hippo mama struggles with building a hut, while the adult hippos watch dubiously. And then one day the new hippos disappear, and it’s up to the little hippos to find them.
Ink and watercolor.