Hi! and Bye! Hello, Hippo! Goodbye, Bird! by Kristen Crow
"HELLO, HIPPO!" SAYS BIRD.
"GOODBYE, BIRD!" SAYS HIPPO.
Hippo wants to be alone. The river is cool and the grass growing at its bottom is tender and delicious. The last thing he needs is a big goofy blue bird on his head.
But this long-legged blue bird is not deterred.
Spreading his wings wide, he perches on hippo's snout to look like a big blue handlebar mustache. Hippo blows him into the air with a couple of jets from his wide nostrils.
But Bird raises his wings and offers himself as an umbrella before the snorted geysers start to fall like rain.
Hippo has his own subterfuge ready. He submerges.
"ULP!" Bird has to take to his wet wings and perch in a tree.
Hippo rises to the surface and surveys the area. Good! NO Bird. He lumbers out of the water and takes a celebratory solitary roll in the grass. Alone! Ahhhh! Peace at last!
Hippo rolls right into the tree, and sets loose a nest of angry hornets, all headed straight for him! Luckily, Bird swoops down, opens his big beak, and glug! The hornets are both history and dinner!
"DON'T WE MAKE A GREAT TEAM?" ASKS BIRD.
"FOR THE LAST TIME, BIRD," YELLS HIPPO, "GOODBYE!"
Bird does not take no for an answer, and the third time is the charm, in Kristyn Crow's story of unlikely chums who find friendship at last in her new Hello, Hippo! Goodbye, Bird! (Alfred A. Knopf Books, 2016). Polly Bernatene's illustrations take center stage, with her charming, vaguely Disneyesque African animals with their comic expressions telling the story in both spot art and full-bleed double-page spreads filled with plenty of attitude and action. Adds Booklist, "Crow’s warmhearted buddy tale is generously infused with energetic humor, and Bernatene depicts both Hippo and Bird with a perfect balance of gruff and goofy."