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360 - 854 - 8518

The Bird and the Hippo Cover
A childhood story. An adult collaboration. A journey of healing, friendship, and acceptance of the way things are.

The Bird and The Hippo Book

Rebecca Murray discovered The Bird and The Hippo nearly 50 years after writing it while rifling through some old papers. Instantly, she knew she had found a treasure.

In bringing her childhood story to the world, Rebecca hopes to remind others that aspirations of youth can remain a source of inspiration for creative adventures later in life.

A childhood story. An adult collaboration. A journey of healing, friendship, and acceptance of the way things are.

The Bird and The Hippo Book

Rebecca Murray discovered The Bird and The Hippo nearly 50 years after writing it while rifling through some old papers. Instantly, she knew she had found a treasure.

In bringing her childhood story to the world, Rebecca hopes to remind others that childhood aspirations can remain a source of inspiration for creative adventures later in life.

Karin is ready to draw

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Down Down Down original

An Artistic Collaboration

Upon hearing Rebecca perform The Bird and The Hippo book at a social gathering in 2018, Karin Exter fell in love with the story and was delighted with the opportunity to illustrate it. The Bird and The Hippo is Karin’s first watercolor project and her first children’s book. 

Fritz crashes into a tree

Although spelling and punctuation have been corrected, the original text remains unchanged. 

Down Down Down original

An Artistic Collaboration

Upon hearing Rebecca perform The Bird and The Hippo book at a social gathering in 2018, Karin Exter fell in love with the story and was delighted with the opportunity to illustrate it. The Bird and The Hippo is Karin’s first watercolor project and her first children’s book. 

Fritz crashes into a tree

Although spelling and punctuation have been corrected, the original text remains unchanged. 

Middy and Fritz
What's the book about?

Friendship, Forgiveness, and Family

After Fritz, a Hollywood-bound bird, mistakenly flies to Africa, his life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a Lady Hippo named Middy. Together they learn about friendship, forgiveness, and how a wrong turn can ultimately lead to the right place.

Middy and Fritz
What's the book about?

Friendship, Forgiveness, and Family

After Fritz, a Hollywood-bound bird, mistakenly flies to Africa, his life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a Lady Hippo named Middy. Together they learn about friendship, forgiveness, and how a wrong turn can ultimately lead to the right place.

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Meet the Author

Rebecca Pierce Murray

Rebecca P. Murray (Becky Pierce) wrote The Bird and The Hippo in 1971 after her mother took Rebecca, her sister and two brothers, ages 7 to 11, on a trip to East Africa. They visited national wildlife preserves in Kenya and Tanzania where they actually watched hippos in the wild.

Upon their return, Rebecca entered the 5th grade where she met Mr. Kaiser, a teacher who emphasized storytelling and creative writing with his students. The Bird and The Hippo was one of many stories a young Rebecca would write and illustrate. 

The story is a metaphor for life. Rebecca is Fritz, the bird who wants to make it big in Hollywood, but never does. Instead, Fritz makes a wrong turn and winds up In Africa. There, his life takes a new direction when he befriends a Lady Hippo named Middy.

Rebecca Murray
Karin Exter
Meet the Illustrator

Karin Exter

Karin Exter was born in South Africa with an insatiable thirst for visual beauty. From an early age, she attended advanced art classes. When on vacation in the country’s amazing national parks, Karin would often see hippos, antelopes, lions, hyenas and other wild animals roaming freely in the wild.

As a teen, Karin attended a prestigious fine arts school, winning numerous awards for her talents. She pursued a variety of careers including restauranteur and flight attendant, then, upon becoming a single parent, put her art on hold to raise her daughter.

It wasn’t until 2002, nearly 20 years after she put down her paintbrush, that Karin returned to art with a renewed passion. Today when Karin is not kayaking, volunteer seal sitting or gardening, she spends much of her time in her Edmonds, Washington studio painting with oils.

Birds on Middy's Back
Karin Exter original concept sketch 2019
Heidi Builds a nest on Middy's back
Page from the original book written in 1971l

A Story for Young of Age and Young of Heart

The Bird and the Hippo will make you laugh and make you think. It will remind you that staying connected to friends and family no matter where life takes you, is worth the effort.

Fritz Middy Heidi and Family

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Complete the form below to add your name to a waiting list. You'll be one of the first to receive the book when it rolls off the press!

Pre-order your book!

Complete the form below to add your name to a waiting list. You'll be one of the first to receive the book when it rolls off the press!