But Not the Hippopotamus
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But Not the Hippopotamus

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  8,718 ratings  ·  232 reviews
Serious silliness for all ages. Artist Sandra Boynton is back and better than ever with completely redrawn versions of her multi-million selling board books. These whimsical and hilarious books, featuring nontraditional texts and her famous animal characters, have been printed on thick board pages, and are sure to educate and entertain children of all ages.
Board Book, 14 pages
Published November 30th 1982 by Little Simon
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Philip Smith
A tragic story of exclusion, bigotry and prejudice, while ultimately celebrating redemption.

A satisfying read, but one I feel is let down by the lack of any attempt to explore the motives of the characters. Why were the moose and the goose together having juice without the hippopotamus? We do not find out.

Without wanting to post spoilers, I will also add that the denouement contains a twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan.
Argott
Parents are faced with all sort sorts of difficult questions. Are feature-length Disney films too scary for kids? Will taking away the toy gun that your child carved from a bar of soap inhibit her creative spirit? Is it okay to spank your children after they punch you in the stomach? And will the aforementioned spanking only teach them to try to run away more quickly the next time they assault you? (For those of you without kids, the answer to each question is yes.)

On each rereading of this belo...more
midnightfaerie
A cute Boynton book with a story line that all my children could enjoy, even if it was just to be able to repeat the word hippopotamus over and over again. Not one of our all time favorites, but adorable illustrations and one we all enjoyed.
Hilary Yastrum
I think this book is great for beginning readers! Not only does it show perfect examples of rhyming words but it has a great life lesson tied into the meaning as well! The book shows a hippopotamus who watches different types of animals do fun activities together all because they have rhyming names. For example, a bare and a hare. The hippopotamus feels lonely throughout the book because he has no animal to pair with. However, at the end of the book the animals ask the hippo to play with them, s...more
Bookfanatic
I personally love this book and I'm an adult. It's a cute story about what other animals do, but not the hippo who doesn't seem to be allowed to do anything except at the end she does do something. She kills all the other animals because they were mean to her.

No, no, she doesn't. I'm joking.

The story is very amusing. My daughter loved this book when she was younger. Boynton's books aren't very babyish. She uses words like "cavort" "bog" which you typically don't see in toddler and preschool bo...more
Eric
This is a great poem about the trials of being a non-standard person in a world where everyone else rhymes. I think kids can get a lot out of this little board book, and think Sandra Boynton is a genius when it comes to short and pointed poems and her drawings accompany the story nicely, despite their simple cartoony style.





My Daughter and I still feel sorry for the armadillo though.
Racquel
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn
Not my favorite Boynton. I know it's supposed to be funny but the ending seemed kinda sad/mean after the otherwise happy resolution. Though I guess we can assume the happy resolution would come later again. Could still be a good teaching tool for including everyone and not making anyone feel left out.
Kirsten Mellin
I don't know how Sandra Boynton does it, but I always enjoy her books. I wish I could pin point what it is about her writing style that I just love. Even though I can't put my finger on exactly why I love these books here are some things in her books I enjoy; the rhyming is always fun, the animal characters make me smile, the books seem to be just the right length for toddlers,and the stories really are just excellent.

We got But Not the Hippopotamus a while ago from the library, and it is one o...more
Kristen
What I learned: anthropomorphized animals are not as exclusionary and mean as they may sometimes seem at first. Also, animals are cute. And "goose" and "moose" rhyme with "juice."
Anselm
Really thick pages. Good for miniature fingers. A tale of odd pairings and outcasts, with a sequel hinted at involving an armadillo.
Valerie
Aug 21, 2008 Valerie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Valerie by: Karanina
Shelves: for-the-boys
Between Karanina and the boys, I have read this book so many times, and I still think its funny.
Karawan
I adore this book. It was a shower gift and one of the first board books I read to Gavin. It has such a nice read-aloud rhythm. I feel like Gavin responded to that even in those newborn days when he wasn't really ready to focus his eyes on the pictures yet.

My sister hates it and refuses to read it to him because she says it's mean to the hippopotamus. But I never read it as the animals intentionally excluding the hippopotamus. They do invite her to join them at the end. I see it as being about s...more
ReadingJungle.com
Sandra Boynton, popular author of twenty-two books for children and adults, brings us But Not the Hippopotamus. Bright and charming illustrations will draw children’s attention while cherished animal characters are involved in a rhythmical and simple story intended to deliver giggling smiles and moral lessons.

All the animals in this tale join together and do tasks and have fun with one another, but not the hippopotamus. This latter phrase is repeated throughout the book as the animal sadly watc...more
Camille Ryckman
Brief summary a hippo feels all alone until her friends ask her to join them, but there is someone else left alone.
Annotation A bunch of friend embark on fun times but each time the hippo feels left out. Until a friend asked her to join. Then there is the armadillo that is left out.
Age appropriateness 0-7 and I include the older age ranges because, this is a time in school during k-2nd grade where kids start to understand being left out.
Connection to six early literacy skills narrative skill. St...more
Shanna Gonzalez
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 t...more
Kaethe
One of my favorite Boynton's. When you read a book over and over and over again in the course of a single day, you really appreciate something that can still make you smile after the umpteenth time. The rhythm is great and the twist ending is amusing.
Shelli Gheen
But Not the Hippopotamus (1995) by Sandra Boynton tells the story of the poor hippopotamus who is left out of everything her friends are doing. The other animals don't realize this and soon come to invite her along...only to leave someone else out. A great rhyming story that could really be a participatory story, too. Children will chime in with "but not the hippopotamus!"

Themes: Friendship; Loneliness

Ways to use this with children:
* Read this to children and talk about the hippopotamus' feeli...more
Emily Morris
This may be one of Boynton's more complex books (as far as words as concerned) but it is one of my favorites and makes me laugh about as much as my daughter. Cute illustrations, great beat, and a fun twist of silliness.
Pam
This was my first introduction to Sandra Boynton's work and boy is it good! This is a great example of a few well chosen, well placed words put together with great illustrations to make a wonderful book. We love it!
Abby
My favorite book by boynton. I've never really got any "life lesson" from this book. I just like how, at the end (spoiler alert) the hippo was sitting on the armadillo the whole time! Hahaha...classic. ;)
Sarah
Saw this sitting at the allergist's office and thought it looked cute. I have _zero_ clue what the message is supposed to be for this book, because it seems to be about how someone always is left behind.
J Marsano
The skinny: a lonely odd-duck hippo misses out on fun and friends, until the pack of them do the right thing and realize they're leaving hippo out. Hippo is included. In a tail-end pattern loop, the armadillo is left out, leaving adult reader and child listener to ponder the injustice of it all and the likelihood of armadillo becoming a member of the gang, or graduating to juvy/gladiator academy in Oakland and living out a life of crime. A nice little lesson book served up with a minimum of angs...more
Marsha
Boynton is my favorite author for toddlers. My favorite books to give at baby showers are "Moo, Baa, Lalala," "The Going to Bed Book," "Hippos Go Berserk" and this one.
Mary
My 2 year old says: "It was amazing. I really liked it." At the end, he says "the armadillo is sad because he wants to come. The armadillo wants to cry." Hugs.
Ashlee Draper Galyean
Feel bad for the hippopotamus if you must but just remember that it's the armadillo who gets the shaft in the end. Plus hippos are notoriously bad tempered.
Virginia
I not only find the title and premise of the book hilarious, I find the actual book fun, too. I have to say that I enjoy this book more than my kids.
Bethany
I'd forgotten the title of this book until it showed up in my Goodreads suggestions. My word, I loved this book as a child! I read it until the cover came apart.

Thematically, it's along the same lines as Green Eggs and Ham (i.e., a character seems stubbornly opposed to something fun, but secretly he/she actually wants to try it). But this book had the added bonus of the word hippopotamus, which, at four years old, is the height of comedy. (Oh, who am I kidding. . .I'm snickering about it right n...more
Terry
Delightful rhymes and pictures with a gentle message about inclusiveness. Great for preschoolers of all ages.
Elizabeth
I can't stand this book. For a variety of reasons.

It gets 2 stars, though, for 2 reasons. My (yes, 2 year old) daughter LOVES it. And she is adorable when she says "hipponamus" at the end of each page.
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Sandra Keith Boynton is a popular American humorist, songwriter, children's author and illustrator. Boynton has written and illustrated more than forty books for both children and adults, as well as over four thousand greeting cards, and four music albums. Although she does not license her characters to be redrawn or adapted, she has herself designed—for various companies—calendars, wallpaper, bed...more
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