Veronica and the Birthday Present
Alfred A. Knopf, 1971
Petunia (one of our children's literature favorites) makes a guest appearance in this book about the friendship of an ultimate odd couple... a kitten and a hippopotamus. I had known about the Petunia books for a while, and my son has always loved White Snow, Bright Snow, but I recently got hold of a big stack of animal titles by Duvoisin at a library sale and I just love them. Crocus the Crocodile and Happy Lion were in the same lot... as was a copy of Jasmine the Cow, but I took a pass because it was in rough shape.
Here, Veronica the hippo and Candy the cat are brought together by a roadside mishap and become fast friends, but are torn apart by the geographic locations of their respective farms.
And now, Veronica and Candy lived far away from each other. The very next afternoon, Veronica said to Petunia the goose,
"I'll go and fetch my friend myself if I have to."
"I'll come with you," answered Petunia. "I know the way."
"I think I'll go too," said Goat. "I love that kitten."
Well, apparently the whole barnyard falls in love with that kitten, thus ensuing a back and forth meadow pilgrimage between two farms to reunite hippo and cat that is utterly adorable. Nothing beats the picture of the hippo literally banging the door down to get at his wee little friend.
The Rain Puddle
A Child's Garden of Verses
White Snow Bright Snow
The Old Bullfrog