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Hiding Horatio

Overview

At first the forest animals are frightened when Horatio, a huge hippopotamus, appears in their midst, but he soon proves to be a friendly beast who needs their help.

At first the forest animals are frightened when Horatio, a huge hippopotamus, appears in their midst, but he soon proves to be a friendly beast who needs their help.

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Overview

At first the forest animals are frightened when Horatio, a huge hippopotamus, appears in their midst, but he soon proves to be a friendly beast who needs their help.

At first the forest animals are frightened when Horatio, a huge hippopotamus, appears in their midst, but he soon proves to be a friendly beast who needs their help.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Lynelle Lawrence
A promising premise goes disappointingly awry in this tale of a fugitive hippo, named Horatio, on the run. While attempting to lose a pair of hunters tracking him after he escapes from the circus, Horatio finds himself in a forest filled with curious critters who have never seen a hippo, but who, after some discussion, are willing to help hide one. Hiding Horatio sounds like an impossible task, and one that could obviously have been quite humorous, but, of all four "hiding places" Horatio finds, only one is good enough to be believable though all fool the hunters in the story equally well. Perhaps something has been lost in the translation from this story's original Swiss German (when the Hippo in question was named "Rodolfo"). Whatever the cause, with far too much text, poorly developed characters, uninspired artwork and an awkward ending, there is little to recommend this tale in its present form.
Kirkus Reviews
Woodland creatures are terrified to discover a hippopotamus in their midst, but when they discover he's a friendly fellow, his size becomes less intimidating. When a small circus decides they don't need Horatio, the hippopotamus decides to go home to Africa instead of waiting around to be sold. He ends up in a deciduous forest, where squirrels, mice, and badgers peek at him from among the leaves. Horatio's gentle nature wins them over, just in time for them to help him baffle the hunters who are hot on his trail. "How could a hippo vanish into thin air?" puzzles one hunter as he leans against a large gray boulder. By the time he figures out the rock was really Horatio, the hippo has found another hiding place (his legs become tree stumps the hunters climb as part of their search; he also becomes a small flower-covered island). The hunters eventually give up in frustration, while Horatio decides he's found a new home. Slow to start, Weigelt's story becomes truly funny when the hunters enter the scene; the contrast between the deadpan text and Horatio's absurd hiding places is pitch-perfect for preschoolers, who know only too well how to hide in plain sight. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735810686
  • Publisher: North-South Books, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.66 (w) x 11.54 (h) x 0.33 (d)

Meet the Author

UDO WEIGELT has been writing for children since 1989. He has published many books with North-South.
NINA SPRANGER has been illustrating books since 1999. Her first U.S. book was published by North-South.

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