Customer Reviews: But Not the Hippopotamus (Boynton on Board)
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on August 16, 2002
This is probably my favorite baby-age book of all time. Like the other Boynton books, it is easy to handle (the board pages are quite tough), very brightly illustrated with the most delightful drawings (imagine a hippopotamus hiding behind a tree!), and features a simple but wonderful story.
It seems that all the animals have wonderful things to do, and they scamper off to do them on every page...But Not the Hippopotamus!!! (a phrase repeated at the end of each page, to young children's delight). But then, something wonderful happens. The happy hippo is invited to join the others! And off he runs, full of joy.
But Not the Armadillo! And the very last page, the most nonsensical nonsequitor of all, is a lonely looking armadillo standing all alone. And hence the "amhoho." When my daughter was just over a year old, she began to talk about the "amhoho." When given her first push-toy, a brightly colored bumble bee, she squealed, "It's the amhoho!"
I don't know how long it took us to figure out that the "amhoho" was the armadillo on the last page of this book. My suggestion is: put a little amhoho into your lives with this fabulous book, the best of everything Boynton has done.
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on July 22, 1998
This is one of my favorite books to read to my son now 11 months. The ryming flow of the story gives this book it's good rythm. The author does a good job of keeping the story simple with a nice ryming flow that is not over done. It holds the adults attention as well as the childs. There are just enough words per page as my son looks at the pictures and turns the pages while I am reading to him.
I have the board book and highly recommend this type of book. It encouranges interaction from the child allowing them to turn the pages and look at the pictures without tearing the pages. I have found that my son is quite interested most of Boynton's books. I have read to him from a very early age and he will often pick up her books and page through them and bring them over to me to read them to him.
Boynton's books were recommended to me at a hospital sponsored child education class and I highly recommend them to you. They make great gifts.
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on August 11, 2004
We like to read this book quite a bit. I've got it memorized (but that's not all that hard). The illustrations are the fat, sweet frogs, hippos, cats, etc. you know from Boynton's other books. This storyline encourages kids to join in and have fun rather than sitting out and feeling sad about it. I don't feel like it encourages this at the risk of damaging sensitive quiet types. Rather, I think it helps kids who look on and wish they could join in but just don't.

The rhyme is great and easy on your sanity. The kids like the pictures (moose and goose at a restaurant?). The book's fun, interesting, readable (even repeatedly), and carries a good message for kids.
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on February 6, 2004
Sandra Boynton is an absolute genius with words and pictures.
BUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS is one of the cleverest -- driest -- most delightful of all of her board books for wee ones. All four of my children absolutely loved it.
You should hear my husband read it out loud. No, really. He's a master at Boynton-out-loud reading.
One disappointment of this newer edition of the book is that the language has been a bit "dumbed down." The first page of the original edition reads, "A hog and a frog cavort in a bog." I suppose Ms. Boynton's editors figured that a lot of people don't know what the word "cavort" means.
Well, they won't know, will they, if editors remove words like that from books??
At any rate, I highly recommend this -- and any -- Sandra Boynton board book for your toddler or preschooler. They are, each and every one of them, a refreshing move away from the cloying, poorly written, overly-cutesy garbage that is littering the bookshelves these days.
Trust me -- you and your child will BOTH be delighted by this book!
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on August 24, 2002
I used to love reading this book to my niece. Six years later when I became pregnant this was the first item I bought! I brought it home and couldn't wait to read it to someone so I read to my husband! He was equally thrilled with it. I started reading it to my daughter from day one. By 4 months she would start crying if I stopped reading it so I often had to read it to her several times and then distract her. A year later she still loves this book. She can be crying, in a bad mood or completely falling apart but if I start reading it to her she immediately perks up. In fact today we were in the car and she started getting antsy. I just started reciting the book (I memorized all the words long ago)and she calmed down. She now is at the age where she sits down with the books and looks through them herself, pretending to "read" them. We have many of the Sandra Boynton books and she loves all of them. Another thing you need to think about as a parent is how do YOU like the storyline? That is a very important factor. Think about it. You could be reading these books, possibly DAILY, for the next 2 years or more. Better make sure it's a book you can stomach for that long. These books are easy to read, with cute characters and are just the right length. I would rather spend a lot of money on endless books such as this, which provide educational value, one-on-one interaction and entertainment than spend a lot more money on numerous electronic toys that she will quickly outgrow. The best gift you can give your child is to take the time to read to him/her. These books make it not only possible, but enjoyable. I highly recommend these books.
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on November 18, 2003
We own a few Sandra Boynton books, and this one is, by far, both my baby's and my favorite. My daughter is four months old, and her face lights up when I read "But Not the Hippotamus" to her. I think she enjoys it because of a combination of the pleasing rhythm and the repetition since I read or recite it to her multiple times every day. I've read this book so many times, I now have it memorized but still find it thoroughly amusing. The characters are participating in such delightful activities, and the illustrations are perfect. I plan to buy this book as a gift every time friends or family members have a new baby.
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on November 21, 2004
This is not only a favorite of my 3 year old niece, but also of myself (26), my mom (52), and my grandma (74). It is so much fun to watch my niece's excitement as we read this story and she directs us all to shake our fingers and say in unison, "But NOT the hippopotamus!" It was one of the first books she ever picked to have read to her, and it remains a must-read today. I just ordered a new copy for her Christmas stocking as her original has been taped and re-taped numerous times. Highly recommended for everyone :)
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on February 3, 2000
The best board book I have ever seen. Plot twists and a surprise ending fit into 14 pages!
It is a story of triumph and glee- not about being left out.
Great pictures and even better rhymes.
If my son could have only one board book this would be the one.
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on May 30, 2004
Sandra Boynton writes some of the funniest children's stories. She must truly have a wonderful sense of humor. I have always loved her book "Cloe and Maude" and now that I am a mother I have discovered her books anew. I found "But Not the Hippopotamus" in the grocery store - it made me laugh out loud right there in the baby aisle. I had to buy two - one for my daughter (who is 5 months and loves it) and one for my best friend who is due with her first child in September. This book has such a great rhythm to it and the ending is too cute! Of course Boynton's drawings, as always, are adorable and full of personality. I think I have just about all of her books on my wish list! Really a must for the night-night library of a young baby. I never get tired of reading it.
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on July 29, 2003
Sandra Boynton has created a lot of lovable animals in her books. It is usually the Turkey who gets things wrong or is left out. In this book there are no turkeys.
"A cat and two rats are buying new hats. But not the hippopotamus."
That sets the feel for this story of the lonely hippo who seems to be left out of all of the fun. But not all is as dark as it seems and there is even a very funny twist at the end.
I have shown this book to a lot of adults and they all have enjoyed it and found it funny. A good book about not seeming to fit in.
Hint: Like with many Boynton books, read the dedication at the front, it's funny.
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