Pros: Fun, rhyming text and quirky illustrations.
Sandra Boynton has written well over 30 children's books. Some are okay. But most are spectacular. They are witty, fun and my son loves reading along with them. One of our favorites is But Not the Hippopotamus. It's about other groups of animals who are out and about doing fun activities. But not the hippopotamus. She is just a bystander, watching the other animals have fun but not being invited herself. Finally, when all of the other animals go out for a jog, the hippopotamus is thinking she is being left out of the fun again. But then the animals come back and ask her to join them.
"And she just doesn't know - Should she stay? Should she go?"
What do you think she decided? When you get to this point you can ask your child if they think she went or not. Of course she does! But, then there is another odd-ball animal who is being left out of the fun. Poor armadillo!
Obviously the text is fun, simple and rhymes. But the illustrations are just as quirky. The illustrations include a bear, hare, moose, goose, cat, rats, frog, hog, hippopotamus and an armadillo. It is cute as the hippo spies all the other animals having fun without her. When the hog and green frog dance in the mud, the hippopotamus watches from behind a skinny tree. Or when the cat and rats are trying on hats, the hippopotamus looks forlornly through the window. And when the animals invite her to join them, she just looks wide-eyed at the reader - almost as if she wants your opinion.
The book is recommended for babies to toddlers. My 27 month old loves this book. It's one of Boynton's shorter books, at 8 pages including cover. Since it is such a short read, it is easy to maintain a baby's and toddler's attention. Even my eight month old sits through this one.
But Not the Hippopotamus costs $5.99. It is originally copyrighted in 1984, and revised in 1995. It is a Little Simon book, which is an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing Division.
OTHER SANDRA BOYNTON HIPPO BOOKS
If you like But Not the Hippopotamus, you might also want to consider these two Boynton books chock-full of hippos.
Hippos Go Berserk! and Belly Button Book
But Not the Hippopotamus is another Boynton hit. It's a short, fun read for babies and toddlers. Both of my sons enjoy when I read this. And the images really attract both of my children. This is a great quirky book.