Mouse and Hippo by Mike Twohy

Published by Simon and Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books

Summary:  Mouse and Hippo meet unexpectedly:  Hippo has an itch on his back, which turns out to be Mouse, who thought Hippo was a rock.  Mouse has set up an easel and is painting the water, but everything is upset when Hippo tries to scratch.  Hippo rescues Mouse, and admires the painting; Mouse offers to do a portrait in return for getting saved  Using his biggest brush to paint such a huge animal, Mouse can only fit a large swath of gray on his paper.  But Hippo loves it, using his imagination to see the rest of himself.  In return, he paints a microscopic picture of Mouse, which Mouse cuts down to size to hang over his fireplace.  It looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.  32 pages; ages 3-8.

Pros:  This book could be used to talk about friendship, kindness, perspective, or using your imagination.  The whole story is told in dialogue, with different colors and fonts for the two animals.  Lots of humor, cute animals, and a happy ending make a winning combination.

Cons:  Don’t tell Hippo and Mouse, but their portraits really aren’t that good.

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