Veronica, a hippo, refuses to be ignored, even though she is lost among all the other hippopotamuses that live on the riverbank, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters, all floating along, blending into one large mass. Deciding to make her mark on the world, Veronica walks away one day, leaving her family behind, determined to be noticed. After a long, lonely trek, she comes upon a city teeming with people and automobiles, horns honking, all the noises of a busy metropolis; best of all, "there was not another hippopotamus anywhere". Unprepared for the problems of the city, Veronica is somewhat nonplussed by the crowds, the traffic, the noise, nowhere to rest, nothing to eat at hand. Unfortunately, everywhere Veronica goes, trouble follows, angry people yelling at her to get out of the way, angry, holding up traffic and causing any number of problems for busy city dwellers.
Sadly, Veronica's great adventure goes awry in spite of her best intentions and she is pushed and pulled into jail, a small building much too tiny for her huge body. Luckily, a kindly elderly lady comes to Veronica's rescue, realizing that Veronica is ready to return home, having had her fill of city life. The lady has Veronica transported home, where she is welcomed heartily. Veronica has been missed. The weary hippo is content to be among family and friends, captivating them each evening with her wild tales of the city. Her yearning for individuality has catapulted Veronica into an unfamiliar and unfriendly world where she learns the value of belonging. It's all right to go home, her memories a source of entertainment for them all. Luan Gaines/2006.
Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Veronica frets about her anonymity amidst her fellow hippopotamuses. She longs to be noticed. She leaves her familiar riverbank and walks for many days until she reaches a city. Here she is "conspicuous" but after the initial novelty has worn away, she is left with no where to sleep, nothing to eat and finds herself in jail. Thank goodness for little old ladies in these stories. As in Babar, one rides to the rescue and sees to it that Veronica is returned to her old home where the hippopotamus is a legend for her exploits in the city.
Roger Duvoisin originally published Veronica in 1961. The book has been reissued.
VERONICA is a timeless tale for youngsters, written and illustrated elegantly by Roger Duvoisin. first released in 1961, copyright in 1989... and republished by Knopf in 2006. 'Veronica' is a charming hippopotamus who desires to be different, and famous too, than her peers of the muddy riverbanks. In her own words, Veronica states: "No one notices me here, I don't even know myself."
How does Veronica accomplish becoming a standout? By traveling to a city and mingling with the crowds on the streets. This Hippo was in her glory when she saw only people, policemen, cars, BUT NO OTHER HIPPOPOTAMUS IN SIGHT. Being very tired from the long journey, Veronica tried to lie down on the sidewalk, at the curb, in a space in a parking lot (where there was free parking of course).
But alas, she was given a ticket by a police officer for curbside, sidewalk, roadway, and general disruption and put in a jail cell... which was a might too small for Veronica. Travel with Veronica on her 'find myself' adventure.
Author Duvoisin was born in Switzerland in 1904, arrived in the United States in 1925, and died in 1980. During his lifetime, he authored and illustrated dozens of children's books, illustrated for other authors, and magazines among which was his cover art for the 'NEW YORKER'.
Read to a child -- it is time well-spent.Other Recommendations for children: see reviews on BookLoons...
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CHOPSTICKS by author and painter-illustrator-- Jon Berkeley
AMERICAN TALL TALES by Mary Pope Osborne wood engravings by Michael McCurdy;