Mouse and Hippo, illustrated and written by Mike Twohy, published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (A Paula Wiseman Book), ISBN: 978-1481451246. Sometimes a book comes along that gives me a giddy giggling fit; I start laughing and then cannot stop. And Mike Twohy’s Mouse and Hippo happily joins that esteemed list. This book beats to the sound of its own drummer, follows its own inner-logic, and the humor keeps surprising the reader. The dialogue between the two titular characters (set in two distinct fonts) is often absurd, and Twohy’s appealing cartoonish illustrations (rendered in India ink, water color, and felt pens) do a fantastic job making the humorous interplay zing and pop. What emerges is a goofy yet effective friendship tale in which two unlikely pals discover the power of art. Twohy, who received a 2017 Geisel Honor for the delightful Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run!, introduces his little mouse character as an artist working on its latest masterpiece. The little rodent stands on what appears to be a rock on a lake, but the rock turns out to be a hippo tickled by the mouse’s easel. Hippo explodes out of the water knocking the poor mouse into the depths. I adore the jarring start to the story and the expressions on their startled faces. The laughs start really kicking in when Hippo notices what a great artist Mouse truly is, and the Mouse offers to paint Hippo’s portrait. Twohy starts giving us the silly playfulness kids totally dig as the characters take turns painting each other. This is imaginative play at its best. I keep asking myself: how will I explain these visual jokes to you dear reader? And I really cannot. You need to see the book yourself. All I have to say is when the Hippo describes one painting as “awesome,” the same could be said for this cheerful romp.