Pros:sing-song rhythm, silly animals, great illustrations
Cons:um....not long enough?
The Bottom Line: Sandra Boynton's wit and whimsical tale of a left-out Hippo is a MUST HAVE for families with early readers.
I was pregnant with my second child when a group of my online friends threw me a cyber-baby shower. My first child was barely a year old, so we had just started venturing into the world of children's books.
As I opened gifts I found all the usual shower gifts....until I came to one package that would soon prove to be the best gift I could have received. It was a collection of board books by an author named Sandra Boynton.
Sandra Boynton has a wonderful style of writing. It is very rhythmic and sing-songy(like a female Dr Suess). Most of her books are about animals, which makes them very attractive to younger readers. The illustrations are equally interesting to parents and kids alike. They are brightly colored and very whimsical. Very well done, and consistent from book to book.
This particular book "But Not the Hippopotamus", became my daughter's favorite book. It begins where "...a hog and a frog do a dance in the bog(but not the Hippopotamus)". Then you learn the "...bear and a hare have been to a fair(but not the Hippopotamus)". You start to feel a little badly for the poor Hippo who stands alone in the corner of each page. But, at last it seems the other animals didn't intend to exclude her at all, as "...the animal pack comes scurrying back saying 'hey, come join the lot of us!!'" There is a moment of hesitation before an enthusiastic "...But yes the hippopotamus!!.....but not the armadillo!" LOL, I love that last line!
All of Sandra Boynton's books include this same sort of wit and whimsy. Of the six I read regularly to my two, But Not the Hippopotamus remains my fast favorite. I always close the book to an enthusiastic "More More!!" and never mind opening it up just "..one more time".
For those with children who are learning to read, this book uses simple language and words that most kids can relate to. Hippopotamus might be a long word to read, but it's a great one to learn early...kind of like Mississippi. It's also fairly short in length, 10 pages if I remember correctly, so it's sure to hold even the wiggliest worm's attention for a few minutes.
Most of Sandra Boynton's books are sold as board books, making them even more wonderful for younger readers. Some others to check out are "The Going to Bed Book", "Doggies", & "Moo, Boo, La La La"
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