“Emotional labeling—now that's an angry duck!—adds to the exuberant charm in this wacky animal roundup.Outgoing Bear (“Hello, Little Person!”) introduces the players and their corresponding moods. Boynton's signature style gives zany animation to her trademark cartoon characters (dog, rabbit and moose, for starters). Facial expression undergoes minor adjustments to convey depth, through slight spacing between the eyes or the angled slant of the nose. Springy rhythmic phrases engage the audience. “Perhaps, like a pig, you are SWEETLY AMUSED, / Or perhaps, like a cow, you're COMPLETELY CONFUSED.” Pacing naturally rolls along through its conversational voice and irreverent asides. “You might feel that, somehow, you've lost all your fizz. / Or you're FRAZZLED LIKE A... um...FRAZZLED THING. (I'm not sure what it is.”) Some lighthearted fun with a nugget of truth, but it's all at the stodgy bird’s expense. ‘And a difficult mood is not here to stay / Everyone's moods will change day to day / Unless you're that duck. / He's always this way.’ Guaranteed to knock the bad mood out of anyone, duck included.”
- Kirkus Reviews July 1, 2011 *STAR
Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods
Sandra Boynton. Little Simon, $5.99 (16p) ISBN 978-1-4424-1731-1 With her familiar brand of gentle absurdity, Boynton creates similes that ascribe moods to various animals. "Hello, Little Person!/ How are you today?" greets a concerned-looking bear. Part of the book's pleasure is that Boynton doesn't rely on clichéd animal personifications: "Are you happy as a hippo?/ Or angry as a duck?/ Maybe sad as a chicken?/ (‘Can you sadly say, "Cluck Cluck?" ')"After the characters tell readers, "Well, I hope you are happy./ But if you are not,/ you have friends who will help you./ We like you a lot," even kids in the stoniest of moods will feel the effect of this pick-me-up. All ages.
--Publishers Weekly, June 20, 2011, *STAR
About the Author
Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, writer, children's author, and songwriter. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over forty children's books and seven general audience books, including four New York Times Bestsellers. More than 35 million of her books have been sold—"mostly to friends and family," she says. She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children's music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold, and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, is nearing Platinum. In 2008, she was awarded the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Cartoonists Society.