CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 33. . . .April 26, 2013
Pippy is a young and shy seahorse who chooses to be a bystander while the other seahorses of her age are playing games. Though Pippy’s father encourages her to join the others, Pippy’s shyness leads her to hide amidst the coral where her father finds her and again prompts her to join the other seahorse youngsters in play. Pippy then hides behind some seagrass, but again her father finds her. Once more, Pippy tries to secret herself away from the eyes of her encouraging/pushy father, but Pippy’s hiding behind a rock brings her in contact with Corry (see excerpt above) who assumes, not entirely incorrectly, that Pippy is engaged in a game of hide and seek. When Cory asks Pippy if she will play the game with him, she agrees, saying “Sure! I like hiding.” Pippy’s father, who has been looking for her, is pleased to see that his daughter has finally made a new friend.
As Paola has done in her other books in the “Simply Small” series, in Pippy, she again weaves her brief storyline around a real toddler concern, in this case, shyness. While Opal’s earlier books have used baby four-legged and two-winged critters as principal characters, with Pippy, she turns to a creature of the ocean, the seahorse. Though the book’s intended audience may have encountered some of the creatures from other books in the series either in the wild, at the zoo or on television, it is much less likely that they will have seen a seahorse. Consequently, their connecting or identifying with the legless/wingless Pippy may require a bit more of them, especially when they also need to understand that the blue background and the bubbles indicate that the action is taking place under water.
Dave Jenkinson, CM’s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.