|From Hide and Seek Harry: Around the House|
The hippo star of Hide and Seek Harry: Around the House by Kenny Harrison does not know that he can be seen. His girth permits him few true hiding places. Harry's approach is much like the child who plays peek-a-boo: Because the toddler covers his eyes and cannot see you, he believes that you cannot see him.
But the other question is, does Harry know that he can be seen? "Harry likes to hide... but he loves to be found!" says the text. Like Harry, the child playing hide-and-seek wants most to be found. Peek-a-boo and hide-and-seek at this age are about being safe, separating momentarily (with no real risk of getting "lost") and then being reunited with the parent, grandparent, older sibling, or caregiver. It's the first dipping of toes into the ocean of independence.
Through Harry, Kenny Harrison taps into this complex mix of feelings in the simplest of ways. Does the hippo choose a hiding place because he thinks he's truly hidden? Or does Harry want to be found? Does it matter? In the end, Harry comes home to his best friends, the boy and girl narrators.