Want to read a book to your toddler that you will enjoy too? Any board book by Sandra Boynton will do the trick, and this is my personal favorite. The first time you read it, wait until you get to the last page. It's a real kicker.
With four children, we have read a lot of books in our house. That's a lot of authors, a lot of characters, a lot of stuff. Sandra Boynton is a winner every time. She has a special whimsy, a talent for tossing off hilarious little rhymes, and darling little drawings of animal characters too. She seems especially to like hippos, but all kinds of species show up in her books. Elephants, rabbits, lions, bunnies, all kinds of critters populate a Boynton book. They are all simply but fully drawn, with a round and gentle style that gives a joyful look to these books.
I have found over a dozen books by this author, and all of them are wonderful. The gentle rhyme scheme makes it a joy to read, and the artful wordplay will hold your attention as well as your child's. Most Waldenbooks or other large bookstores have a selection of Boynton books in the board books section. These books will be worth a world of smiles to you and your children. If the rhymes don't draw a laugh, the artwork will!
The message of this particular book is one children can relate to as well. Children often feel like outsiders, and the hippo (“but not the hippopotamus”) reflects that. She observes others in various activities, but does not feel welcome to join. Until, at one point, “the animal pack comes running on back, saying, ‘Come join the lot of us!’” The hippo must make a choice to stay in her safe place, or become part of the crowd. This is a choice we all face at one time or another, usually frequently: expose ourselves to potential ridicule, or take a risk to have fun. This choice is even more difficult for children.
Sandra Boynton’s books are board books aimed at the toddler/preschool set. She writes wonderful little rhymes that stand up to multiple re-readings, and continue to spread joy and delight. Some of her books have more than one edition. There are some word and drawing changes between different editions, but the books remain wonderful. I would recommend Boynton to any parent of a toddler or preschooler. Not only will your child enjoy these books, but you will too!
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