Timid Hippo and bombastic Rabbit are back in three more short chapters for emergent readers. In the first chapter, Hippo is terrified by a spider and Rabbit tells him to practice being brave like him! Unfortunately, it turns out that Rabbit is scared of something too. The second chapter shows both the characters’ personalities in their balloon preferences. Hippo is scared that his will pop, while Rabbit can’t wait for exactly that to happen. The third chapter shows Rabbit trying to convince an underwear-clad Hippo to take a bath.
Each spread holds only three panels, a full page on one side and two horizontal panels on the facing page. Jeff Mack’s art is perfectly suited for the emergent reader, with bold, simple lines and easy to read dialogue balloons. The characters’ reactions are exaggerated and complement the stories’ humor. Kindergarteners will laugh hysterically when they see the “brave” rabbit shrieking in terror at a bee, or Hippo loading up toys to go in the bath.
Young fans of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series will be delighted by these new comic friends and their silly adventures. These are Scholastic’s level one readers, with a minimum of words in a large font and suitable for the very beginning reader. The one drawback to these fun stories for a library that they are not available in hardcover or library bound. I found the earlier volume available at my vendor with their own binding, but this volume is currently only available in paperback. The gutter is very narrow and in several spots cuts off part of a picture or dialogue box. I would only purchase these for a library if they became available in hardcover.