A little hippo almost forgets kisses for Mama in this hearteningly adorable, Africa-set picture book from Margaret Wild and Bridget Strevens-Marzo.
When Baby Hippo hurries off to play, he doesn't remember to give Mama a kiss. But as he makes his way through the "squelchy, squelchy mud," around the "bumpy, bumpy rocks," up the "mossy, mossy bank," and other places, Baby Hippo hears many other babies kissing their mamas! After spotting elephants, gorillas, and zebras, to name a few animals, he finally remembers what he forgot and shuffles back home, where Mama is waiting for him in the "deep, deep water."
Simple and sweet, with repetitive phrases to keep little ones engaged, Wild and Strevens-Marzo's read is a pure, animal-packed treat. The large, bright illustrations are as warm as the African savanna, making a tender winner that also teaches about fauna, topography, and especially the bond between parent and child. Kisses from your child won't stop coming with this cutie close at heart. Matt Warner