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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Board Book of Epic Proportion
The most entertaining "counting book," I've seen, Sandra Boynton pulls out all the stops (and all the hippos) in this hilariously inventive tale of a hippo happening. It all beings with one lonely hippo, who "calls two hippos on the phone. Three hippos at the door [then, next page] bring along another 4. Before long, "seven hippos arrive in a sack. Eight hippos sneak in...
Published on May 23, 2005 by M. Allen Greenbaum

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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This book is cute but it is not as good as some of the other board books for little ones offered by this author. It's just okay.
Published 23 months ago by SallyC


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Board Book of Epic Proportion, May 23, 2005
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
The most entertaining "counting book," I've seen, Sandra Boynton pulls out all the stops (and all the hippos) in this hilariously inventive tale of a hippo happening. It all beings with one lonely hippo, who "calls two hippos on the phone. Three hippos at the door [then, next page] bring along another 4. Before long, "seven hippos arrive in a sack. Eight hippos sneak in the back. Nine hippos come to work. ALL THE HIPPOS GO BERSERK!" Berserk here, means 45 hippos (9 + * + & ... + 1) all in the initial hippo's house, tooting horns, tearing down a hippo portrait (drawn like Whistler's mother, if Whistler were a hippo), eating cake, and being served by those nine working hippos. When morning comes, the hippos leave, in as many different ways as they arrived: By "Greyhip" bus, wagon train (!), helicopter, and wheelbarrow.

We've come to expect Boynton's wonderfully whimsical, rounded style, but she adds several humorous details (e.g. a hippo dancing on the roof), and very cleverly associates the numbers with the hippos. Most counting books are very static, a number, say 5, and five of some item on that page. I suppose a more "advanced" presentation is that the numbers are related in some thematic way. However, Boynton doesn't limit herself to the one page per number formula; she writes a continuous story, in which new guests-the ones associated with that page's number--mingle with previous arrivals. She accomplishes this by distinguishing the new, number-relevant guests through their costumes or by color differences. This format may require more cognitively than simpler books, but Boynton's "Hippos GO Berserk" is so entertaining that it stands alone as pure entertainment; its value "counts" much more than the traditional style.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Hippo All Alone... a back and forth counting book, August 15, 2003
By 
Joshua Koppel (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
A wondrous counting book that tells of a lonely hippo who calls two others on the phone. Then larger and larger groups keep arriving (three though nine) until all 45 hippos and the beast (a guest of one of the groups) go berserk and party all through the hippo night. But at the hippo break of day, they all begin to go away (nine through two) until all that is left is the original one.
Most counting books only count in one direction. This fun book counts up and then back down again (although it doesn't use zero). It even makes mention of how many they add up to.
Typical Boynton illustrations add to the fun of this book.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As fun for the parents as for the kids!, January 27, 2001
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Hardcover)
This is an absolutely hysterical book of rhyming verse. It's fun to read aloud, and a big hit with the kids. Boynton's drawings are great - as always. One special feature: this book counts backwards as well as forwards. An interesting twist on the usual counting book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tons of Hippo Fun, November 28, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
This is a delightful book! I bought it for my 6 month old son, who has a limited attention span for stories but LOVES this one. I also gave it to my 2 year old niece who, according to my sister-in-law, asks to have "Hippos Go Zerk!" read at least 16 times per day.
Boynton also adds some humorous touches that Mom and Dad can appreciate. Look for the Hippo Whistler's Mother!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pro-berserks, February 21, 2000
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Paperback)
This is an excellent book for early readers and pre-school teachers alike (I'm of the latter category) A great transition book, steady build up, allow your kids a few seconds to go beserk, then a countdown to quietness. SO simple and delightful, a must for every teachers table !
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hippos are Awesome, June 30, 2008
By 
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
This is one of my family's favorite childrens books ever. It not only completely speaks to our crazy and chaotic, yet incredibly loving extended family, but the last line -- "One hippo alone once more, misses the the other forty-four" -- sums up that poignancy of having to say good-bye. All that, plus it helps teach kids to count. (Both my five- and eight-year-olds still want to make sure that there are 44 actual hippos at the height of it all.) I never tire of reading it and have given it as a gift at nearly every baby shower I've ever been to. If you haven't read Sandra Boynton's childrens books, do so now.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, May 25, 2005
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
My daughter, who is now 15 months, LOVES this book. We got it before she was born, but didn't start reading it to her until she was about 12 months and she instantly loved it. We have to take it with us when we go out of town because she loves it so much. Of course we've memorized it, so when we're driving and she gets fussy we can recite it to her and she is happy again. Great, great book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Truly Berserk!, July 4, 2001
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
This book has all the elements of fun--one author, who obviously loves to write children's books, one subject (HIPPOS) and counting and you have the ingredients for a fun book. My 6 year old loves Hippos Go Berserk! and is learning to read it. She loves the counting as well. This book is in our Boynton collection (we must have the "Boynton Memorial Library" by now!) and it gets read weekly. We have to rotate through all the other Boynton books we have. It's a very good book and I recommend it, for children of ALL ages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I would have to agree with J. Owen Lowe!, April 14, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Paperback)
Mr Lowe is correct this is a very inspiring book for young children. My son, James, loves this book so much that his friends voted to make it the oficial book of their secret society. God bless the way hippos go beserk!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious tale - Mom loves it as much as baby, July 1, 2001
By 
marared (Southern California) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hippos Go Berserk! (Board book)
Hippos Go Beserk is a humorous story of what happens when a lonely hippo decides to call some friends for a party. The text is beautifully rhythmic and melodic and the pictures are bright and cute. The story involves counting up to nine and then backwards from nine to one again. The theme had potential to be monotonous as it involves a series of pages with one more (or less) hippo on each page, but Boynton did a good job of varying the illustrations and what the hippos are doing on each page so it is enjoyable and humorous.
This is one of my 14 month old daughter's very favorite books. She carries it around the house with her. She LOVES the middle page (the climax of the story), where "all the hippos go beserk" and has caught on to the change in the rhythm of the story and the change in my voice when I read it. She thumbs through the book and when she gets to that page she shrieks and grins and bounces up and down. Overall it's well-written and well-illustrated.
I have also found that this is one of the few toddler books that "speaks to" me personally. I really enjoy the cute story and the rhythm of the prose, but I also find that when I read the story it leaves me reflective. Parenthood can be lonely at times, and I'm inspired by the lonely hippo at the beginning of the story who takes the initiative to call some friends and throw a party. Whenever I read this book I am left feeling more lighthearted and inspired to call a few friends myself.
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Hippos Go Berserk!
Hippos Go Berserk! by Sandra Boynton (Paperback - November 1, 1996)
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