Picture Book of the Day: But Not the Hippopotamus

PBOTD But Not the HippopotamusI am part of a wonderful group of bloggers who share a picture book each weekday.  You can find their book selections on my facebook page.  I primarily share toddler and preschool appropriate books, but the selections run the gamut of books for kids up through elementary.

We love Sandra Boynton books around here!  They are prized for their silliness and their illustrations.  One of our recent favorites is But Not the Hippopotamus.  Even very early readers will delight in the pattern of Boynton’s prose and the cute story.

It will not take long for your little one to know the story enough to be able to recite it to you, so here are some tips for reading Boynton books for the 1,000th time:

Do a character study. Often in Boynton books, the illustrations will feature the same characters on each page.  Pick an animal and have your little one find him through out the book.  Ask, “Where is the hippopotamus?”  “What is he holding?”  What is he doing?”  This helps your little one see the details of the book and freshens up the experience each time.

Drop off at the end of the phrases and let your little one finish.  They know it so well by now, let them “read” it to you.  In But Not the Hippopotamus, try dropping off reading after, “But not the…”  and let your young reader finish with, “Hippopotamus.”

Discuss animal noises.  Boynton books feature lots of animals, so there is ample opportunity to review animal sounds with your little one.  Slow down and ask, “What sound does a dog make?”

Make up a new tune.  There are a lot of songs in the Boynton books.  Try making a new tune to the songs or change the rhythm of your speech whilst reading.  This will give the book some new life.  The songs you sing when you read can easily be taken along with you in the car to keep your little one entertained while riding around town.  This helps engage memory for your little one.

Review colors.  Boynton books are full of primary colors.  Take the opportunity to go over the colors with your child by asking them to find something red or ask, “What color is his shirt (jacket, pants, etc.)?”

What do you do to make an old favorite fresh with your young readers? I would love to hear your tips!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Michelle

    I LOVED those books when my kids were little!! I saved all of them for their kids!! Saw your share this morning on the SITS Sharefest!

    1. ussleah

      We love them too, but I don’t think they are going to make it that long. They get some pretty heavy use and are looking a little shabby. Thanks for stopping by, Michelle!

  2. OneMommy

    Her books were my son’s favorites when he was little! I loved that one! (And Personal Penguin…)

    You have some great tips!

    Stopping in from SITS.

    1. ussleah

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! We love her books, too! We are also getting into some Dr. Seuss lately and that has been fun!

  3. Picture books are amazing. When your child is older try There’s no such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent. Another favorite is Mr. Impossible. The Art Lesson by Tomi DePaolo is one of my favorites. I could go on and on. I will end with Regina’s Mistake by Moss which is a great story both about persistence and art. Enjoy Sharefest. Looks like a good site to pop back to see for ideas.

    1. ussleah

      Thanks for all the great recommendations, Sheila! We love books around here and look forward to the bigger books.

  4. Lacie

    Reading in silly voices is another mix it up solution. I also change the speed & sing the words. We have a lot of fun juxtaposing the words of the story to fit the melodies of our favorite songs.

    1. ussleah

      Love it. I kind of already do funny voices (just because I am a nut), but that is a GREAT tip to make it new again! Thanks for sharing!

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