March 9, 2016

Featured Author: Sandra Boynton

I'm going to start featuring an author every now and then, and I thought it would be fun to kick off the series with one of my favorite authors for toddlers: Sandra Boynton

Board Books with a sense of humor. Is such a thing possible? If you are author/illustrator Sandra Boynton, the answer is a resounding YES!

There are many, many, earnest little board books, determined to teach your small one Names of Things and Counting and Colors and Sign Language--all before she has enough teeth to chew the cover to shreds. Those books have their place. I read them, dutifully, to my kiddos, usually on auto-read, my mind a thousand miles away. At least they're short, right?

There were a comparatively small number of board books that I enjoyed along with my kids. A high percentage of those were by Sandra Boynton. They are just fun to read! The illustrations are just as comical as the text.

Also, a big plus for me: she really gets what age these books are intended for. Very simple text, silly pictures on every page, great rhymes and plenty of repetition, plus a sly surprise here and there, all done in 13-15 [small] pages.

What can I say? She's a genius.

 Exuberant and full of actions that beg to be followed!

Bow to the horse.
Bow to the cow.
Twirl with the pig if you know how.

I've read this one at an Infant/Toddler storytime and with a parent willing to modify the actions accordingly, it's even perfect for babes-in-arms. Toddlers will be all over the place!

Get ready for a little bedtime dance party! It's all about the chant in this book--say it with me now:

Jamma, jamma, jamma, jamma, PJ!

After all the fun is over, she brings it right back down with a refrain that gets softer and softer until it's a whispered "Goodnight."

This is another bedtime book; somewhat more traditional than Pajama Time! A crowd of animals gets on PJ's, brushes teeth, etc.  They're on a boat--for no particular reason--and all do everything together.

My very favorite ending:
The moon is high. The sea is deep.
They rock
and rock
and rock
to sleep.

4 animals, 4 colors (+ purple socks at the end.)
14 words all together, in different combination. 14 words, people!
And it's hilarious!

My kids loved this when I read it to them. They loved reading the pictures. The loved it when they could read the words to themselves.

Say the words "Oops turkey" to any one of them and they would instantly know exactly what you were referring to.

Takes the tired little book of animal sounds and turns it on its head!

Three singing pigs say "La la la!"

Along with Blue Hat, Green Hat, this is the one I most often give away at baby showers.

Again, she takes an idea that has been beaten into the ground, and puts her own delightful spin on it.

My kids' favorite pages:
IN and OUT (a turtle in its shell and one standing on its shell)
WHISPER and SHOUT! (mother hippo and child hippo)
[because of course we had to shout when the book told us to!]

A counting book that takes you from 1 to 10, then back to 1.

My favorite set of pages, just because I can relate so well:

FIVE works well for a ride in the car--
as long as the car ride isn't too far.

The second picture is priceless--kids fighting in back, baby crying, Mom and Dad looking like wide-eyed crazies. Good times!

There are many many more. The more we read, the more favorites we have!
She also has some music out there, and literally thousands of greeting cards. I found out about the greeting cards from her website:

Are you in the Sandra Boynton fan club? Which are your favorites?


  1. We love Sandra Boynton! Our favorite is probably Hippos Go Berserk!

    1. We haven't read that one! I'll have to try and find it.