Book Review: But Not the Hippopotamus

Rating: ★★★★☆

Once again, Sandra Boynton makes it look easy to produce a rhythmic, repetitive, and hilarious story that the youngest tots and the most jaded adults will enjoy.  In this simple plot, a shy hippo watches as other animals engage in social activities, and the refrain repeats, “But not the hippopotamus.”  Finally, the other animals invite her along and, after dithering a moment, she leaps into the fun… leaving behind another wallflower: “But not the armadillo.”

Almost everyone has felt shy at some time, and children may identify with the hippo.  Even if they don’t struggle with shyness, the repetitive, enjoyable rhythm, the cheerful mood, and the well-crafted, simple rhymes, will endear the story to toddlers everywhere.

This book has been republished with new illustrations, and parents may want to decide before buying whether they prefer the updated or original version.

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Publication Information: Boynton, Sandra. But not the Hippopotamus. Little Simon. 1982. ISBN: 0671449044.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 00-04
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Posted on March 5, 2011


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