The Hippos at the Seashore
Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax.
A family of hippos are vacationing at the beach. They are engaged in the
usual seaside activities—swimming and building sand castles— when a
storm forces them indoors. The storm continues for a long time, and
everyone, except for the grandmother, becomes increasingly irritable.
Her attitude and sound advice prevent the holiday from turning into a
During the storm, the flimsy cottage leaks and a window is smashed by
the wind. The vacationers become even more fractious until the
grandmother persuades them to work together to effect repairs and make
the cottage more habitable. She also encourages them to engage in
enjoyable indoor activities for the duration of the storm. By
maintaining her composure and setting a good example of practicality,
she inspires the others to see the bright side of things, until there
really is a bright side: the return of the sun.
This is a simple but effective story about making the best of a bad
situation, and about the value of cooperative action. The young child
will enjoy the brightly colored, full-page illustrations, the story, and
the message. Recommended.