Last week, Sandra Boynton fans in New York City (young and old) were in for a treat. The popular children’s book author visited a Barnes & Noble store in Manhattan and read from one of her bestselling titles, The Going to Bed Book. (My kids adore this book and love to recite the last line: “The moon is high. The sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep.”) Then she demonstrated the book’s app on a Nook and the ability to autograph e-readers. (Cool! What will they think of next?) Though I’ve met Boynton (she’s a lovely person) years ago at another book-signing event, I wish I could have been at this one to witness the high-tech wizardry. I’m old enough to fondly remember Boynton’s greeting cards (“Hippo Birdie Two Ewes” is a classic!) and my children have been exposed to Boynton’s quirky humor practically since birth. They started with Fuzzy Fuzzy Fuzzy! A Touch, Skritch, and Tickle Book and graduated to Moo, Baa, La La La! and many others. When not grasping the board books with their little fingers, they’re listening to the sly, silly songs on her albums. In the car, we sing along with Meryl Streep as she croons “Nobody Understands Me” (Philadelphia Chicken) and join Kate Winslet and Weird Al Yankovic as they sing “I Need a Nap” (Dog Train). I’m still amazed by the eclectic assortment of celebrities who sing on her albums—everyone from B.B. King to Laura Linney and Kevin Kline.
Boynton, who has written and illustrated more than forty titles for children, is still going strong when it comes to kids’ books. Later this month, Simon & Schuster will release her latest board book, Happy Hippo, Angry Duck: A Book of Moods. In Happy Hippo, Angry Duck, Boynton’s trademark critters whimsically illustrate various feelings and offer the reassuring message that it’s okay to have not-so-happy moods. Like her other works, this one is bound to amuse and bemuse little ones while sneaking in new vocabulary words. And grown-ups will have fun reading it out loud to them.
What’s your favorite Sandra Boynton book?