From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2?A tale of neighborliness gone wild. Pig and Hippo are good friends. They live next door to one another, separated by a tall hedge. Six days of the week they spend together. They share peppermint tea, chocolate doughnuts, and mud baths. On Sundays, though, they stay in their own houses. One Sunday, Hippo takes it into his head to cut down the hedge between them. Thus begins all of the trouble, for what they see puts a damper on their friendship. Hippo, to Pig's disgust, chews on his toenails. Pig, to Hippo's horror, stuffs an entire pile of doughnuts and cupcakes into her mouth at once. Both are so appalled at the other's behavior and so angry about being spied upon that they stop their visits. Then the hedge grows back and the two animals, lonely for one another's company, resume their special times together. Cheerful watercolors give life to Pig and Hippo's personalities, complete with good intentions and failings. While lacking the tongue-in-cheek cleverness of James Marshall's "George and Martha" books (Houghton) or the endearing sweetness of Gabrielle Vincent's "Ernest and Celestine" stories (Morrow), this gentle tale reinforces the notion that good fences, or hedges, make good neighbors.?Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 3^-6. The joy of friendship--and of privacy--is dramatized in this gentle, funny picture book. Hippo and Pig are neighbors and best friends. Several days a week Pig trots over to Hippo's for a refreshing mud bath; on other days, Hippo waddles over to Pig's house for tea and chocolate doughnuts. But when Hippo cuts down the tall hedge between their houses, they suddenly know too much about each other. They lose the fun of surprise and the relaxation of being alone, and they quarrel. Lambert's gorgeously detailed, messy watercolors show what Pig sees through the window: purple Hippo flopped on his flowery sofa chewing his toenails one by one and then drooling on the soup ladle as he cooks. Hippo sees pink Pig stuffing herself with piles of doughnuts and cupcakes and then falling flat on her face when she tries to dance in a fancy tutu. Only when the hedge grows again is their friendship restored. The combination of the gross and the subtle is exactly right for preschoolers, who will appreciate the immediacy of the physical details as well as the joy of being alone, the need for space. Hazel Rochman