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But Not the Hippopotamus

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  13,524 ratings  ·  368 reviews
A shy hippo makes a big impact in this Sandra Boynton classic.

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
Board Book, 14 pages
Published November 30th 1982 by Little Simon
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,524 ratings  ·  368 reviews

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Philip Smith
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
This hippopotamus was so cute. I'm reading this again!

Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
The book is well written and illustrated, but it's a horrible plot. It was a great book until the very last page. Spoiler alert, the Hippo is excluded the whole book but then is included in the end. But then they exclude the Armadillo instead! This could have been a 5 star book about including everyone if the author had simply left out the last page, but instead became about excluding the less fortunate. I've decided to cover up the last page and create an alternate ending so that I don't hate t ...more
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
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.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Why is this five stars you ask? Well, if I could have one wish, it would be for peace on earth. But if I could have two wishes, it would be peace on earth and a recording of Small Change era Tom Waits reading this. It totally fits as a song of his. At least, it did when I tried to do the voice.
Dec 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby
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." ...more
Gurband Mann
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read. Finished it in one day
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
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.
Rod Brown
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this to my daughter when she was young, and read it again this year after reading the disappointing new sequel. Still love it! The combination of words and pictures is cute, charming and delightful.

May 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really thick pages. Good for miniature fingers. A tale of odd pairings and outcasts, with a sequel hinted at involving an armadillo.
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Aug 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The more I think about this, the more I think the rhyme scheme is a plot device.
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: delectable-reads
But Not the Hippopotamus is a masterpiece of a book. It's about animals doing many activities but the Hippopotamus not involving themself in any. I read this book so many times as a child because of how good the writing is and the compelling storyline. I appreciate the happy ending as many good books have sad endings. Sadly, the book is surprisingly short and I wish it were longer. ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A rhyming board book in which groups of animals seem to be excluding the hippopotamus from their fun, but ask her to join in by story's end.

A fun read aloud for the Toddler and PreK crowd.
Travis Mulhauser
One of my all-time favs, didn't like the end, so I rewrote the last page with a sticky label to include the armadillo ...more
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: iris
More excellent Boynton. The best thing about this one is that Iris unfailing breaks into a HUGE grin when the animal pack comes scurrying back for the hippo. It must be because of our delivery; it's the cutest. ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Boynton has a way with words and illustrations. It is a fun sing song rhyme that works in whatever format it is in.
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Aw this is cute! It has the fun rhymes and the shy hippo. Not to give away the ending but I truly laughed out loud and then immediately went "awww"🙈 ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-baby
Not our fave, but tbh Sandra Boynton never disappoints.
Feb 23, 2021 added it
Shelves: 2021-reads
i read this so kissing the coronavirus wouldn't be my shortest book of the year ok ...more
Patti Schall
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books ever!
Aug 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A hilarious classic!
Katie Johnson
Dec 14, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is all about a Hippopotamus who lives as an outcast in a world where everything else rhymes. She is excluded from the activities the other animals are participating in together and each page shows friends doing something together "but not the hippopotamus" in the end the whole group of animals ask if the hippopotamus would like to join them and while she says yes she goes with the group but now the armadillo is left behind. This book would be a good introduction to novels with similar ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: board-books
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. ...more
Keith Irwin
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite Sandra Boynton book. It rhymes nicely and flows well. The art is very cute. And it even had things you can ask the little one to count or find in the pictures. And it has a very cute ending. Plus you can even talk about how the characters in it feel and they all wind up modeling fairly good behavior. I highly recommend it.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Typical of her style, it's fun, easy to read and short, so you can read it to young children and get to the end before they lose interest. I have some objection to the rhyming of "frog" and "hog" with "jog", but not enough to change my general enjoyment of reading this to children. We just mispronounce "jog" and laugh a lot. ...more
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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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