Barnyard Dance! (Sandra Boynton)

Not Recommended, Not Repeatable

Sandra Boynton has a distinctive style in terms of artwork and the way she tells a story — usually I’m a fan (for example, But Not the Hippopotamus). Here though, I almost think you would have to be a fan of square dancing for you to enjoy this book (and then, I think it’s a home run, or whatever the square dancing equivalent of a home run). The animals are dancing, and there’s her usual cow (who now plays a fiddle) and pigs (who twirl), but the text just doesn’t seem as engaging or even as lively as I usually expect… so this was a real miss for us.

But Not the Hippopotamus (Sandra Boynton)

Recommended, Repeatable

A cute little rhyming story about animals and their antics, and a hippopotamus who never joins in(“a hog and a frog cavort in the bog… but not the hippopotamus”). The pictures are simple but cute, and the rhymes are kind of infectious in a fun way; because the reader can’t help but make some funny voices and intonations while reading, the toddler will be very interested. Mine has asked me to read this book “again” so many times I have it memorized… and I think it’s a great addition into any toddler library.