On the occasion of her son's graduation from high school, Sandra Boynton, the well-loved creator of books and cards featuring hippos, dinosaurs, and sheep, has written a celebratory book for "onwardly mobile" readers. Everyone on the planet will compare this title to Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go
, and we will, too. Yes, they're both delightful, silly picture books with vaguely unidentifiable critters as the emcees, rejoicing in the reader's recent graduation or other success. Festive exclamation points abound, along with rhyming, and alternating cheering and questioning ("Now what will you do?"). But Sandra Boynton is Sandra Boynton, and Dr. Seuss is Dr. Seuss, and ne'er the twain shall meet. Boynton's more contemporary text and illustrations feature a cow doing yoga ("OOM") and a headphone-clad fellow listening to "great rock-and-roll," among her other trademark characters flying away under balloons, partaking of chocolate, and scrambling up mountains. A box on the first page with "CONGRATULATIONS" across the top and "To" and "From" below make it perfectly clear that this is a book for giving. Behind all the goofy faces and simple rhymes is a very real, very sweet sentiment of pride and support that any loving friend or family member will be glad to share with that special successful person, young or old. Boynton's style can be recognized a mile away in such classics as Dinos to Go
, Hippos Go Berserk!
, and Moo, Baa, La La La!
. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Like Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go!, Boynton's latest picture book seems geared more for the graduation gift market than the children's bookshelf. She strikes up a chipper note from the start, offering introductory congratulations of an unspecified nature to the reader ("You did it!/ You're done!/ You made it!/ You're through!") then asks, "Now what will you do?" A tongue-in-cheek dash, in rhyme, through the many options life holds follows ("Do you long for adventure?/ Do you love to read maps?/ Would you rather stay home/ with your chocolate,/ perhaps?"). If Boynton treads a well-worn path here, offering advice that is somewhat generic and bland ("Whatever you do,/ whether near or so far,/ I know you'll be great./ You already are"), the artwork plays against the relentlessly upbeat tone and helps to hoist the book above greeting-card sentiment. Filled with her trademark bestiary of droll, quizzical characters, from a cow meditating in the lotus position ("oom") to a frog with an outboard motor attached to his lily pad ("some like to go fast"), the amusing scenarios will prod laughter from young and old alike. All ages.
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