George and Martha by James Marshall
(Series of titles, available in picture book and early reader formats)
Written and illustrated by the amazing James Marshall, these tell the story of two hippos who are the best of friends.
Owen & Mzee: the true story of a remarkable friendship by Isabella Hatkoff and Peter Hatkoff (Scholastic, $16.99)
Owen is a hippo that was stranded on a reef off the coast of Kenya after the tsunami of 2006. He was brought to a wildlife refuge where he immediately took comfort in the company of a 130-year old tortoise named Mzee. The pair has become an international sensation. This is their sweet story, written and illustrated by a little girl and her dad, after visiting the refuge.
Toot & Puddle by Holly Hobbie
(Series of titles, picture books)
Swap Frog and Toad for two pigs wearing turtlenecks, and you have got Toot & Puddle.
Elephant & Piggie by Mo Willems
(Series of titles, early readers)
This series is laugh-out-loud fun. Brought to you by the author of such classics as Knuffle Bunny and Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.
City Dog, Country Frog by Jon J. Muth (Hyperion, $17.99)
One of my all-time favorite picture books. It has a sweet and beautiful message, about the power of friendship and the cycle of life, with gorgeous illustrations by the illustrator of Zen Ties and Zen Shorts.
August 2011, Amy Vaccarella