"When I woke up I was a Hippopotamus! Yawning in the morning, I raised up my sleepy head, then took one look out of the window and got straight back into bed." A little boy transforms into different creatures as his moods change throughout the day, until finally he goes a little too far and discovers his parents have transformed too!
The narrator of this mischief-laden story is willing to imagine he's anything as long as it's not well-behaved or human. To the delight of his peers and the consternation of adults, he's a sluggish hippo when the alarm rings, an uncoordinated robot at breakfast ("robots can't eat cornflakes./ Dad's words did not compute"), a statue when he needs to get out the door, a monkey in the classroom, a rocket ship on the way home, and a destructive giant in his room ("that's just how giants play./ We're big and loud and noisy./ We don't know another way"). But when the boy pushes his parents over the edge, he sees the wisdom of pretending to be "a nice thing" (himself) that they can cuddle and fuss over. MacRae's (Baby Pie) verse gets a good boost from Collins (Doodleday), who manages the boy's transformations and accompanying chaos in sprawling, detailed watercolor cartoons that evince a firm but funny hand. Readers should especially appreciate how this competent, confident hero remains in control of his destiny and lives to pretend another day. Ages 4 9.