You can hardly have a complete baby/toddler (even preschooler) library without at least a few books by Sandra Boynton. She really is the master of simple, humorous board books that are not torturous for a parent to read again and again. And again. Let’s face it, she is a master who has written 50 children’s books and has been at it since before I was born (though I was never fortunate enough to have one of her books in my childhood library that I can recall).
Her books helped my youngsters first develop their sense of humor. I can still remember my son’s first book-giggles as I read him Blue Hat, Green Hat. Several of her books are set to music, and even some that aren’t are so singable that I developed my own melodies for them that have become part of our family culture.
So, without further ado, allow me to introduce you to our family favorites of hers.
1. Blue Hat, Green Hat—This was the original book my son first giggled to! It features four animals trying on different articles of clothing in different colors (educational too!), but the turkey always wears it in a silly way with the caption, “oops!” Play it up when you read it, and your kids will love this one.
2. But Not the Hippopotamus—This adorable rhyming book is about being shy and about being included. Love it!
3. Doggies: a Counting and Barking Book—Who knew you could write a whole book with numbers, the word dog, and barks? Sandra Boynton did, of course! Teach counting (and barking) with this clever book.
4. Moo Baa La La La—This is a cute book of animal noises (though my toddler is now convinced pigs say “la, la, la!”). I always enjoy seeing what my kids will respond to the books last line, “What do you say?”
5.Barnyard Dance!—Ok, this is one that is fun to sing! I’m not sure I’d even know how to read it without singing. Make up your own tune and let the animals dance!
6. Pajama Time!—I still start singing this one sometimes at bed time, but this fun book about pajamas doesn’t have to be sung to be fun. Great bedtime read.
7. The Going-To-Bed Book—This is a more calming book than Pajama Time. A sweet yet fun getting ready for bed book.
8. Opposites—More engaging than just the traditional pairing of opposites (plus it rhymes!). The illustrations are fun (my favorite is the right/wrong page).
9. One, Two, Three!—I know I’ve already listed one of her counting books, but this one is so good too! I love how she lists what each number is “good for” (e.g. a ride in the car, a class in ballet, having tea). But my favorite line is the end: “And one is wonderful after a crowd.”
10. Are You a Cow?–This book totally takes advantage of the fact that toddlers love to say, “no!” It fun to watch your toddler respond to you asking her if she is a cow or a dog, especially as her sense of humor begins to develop! Boynton even has a customizable version of this book available on her website!
Obviously this is just a fraction of her books, but (in my humble opinion) these are her best!
Do you have a favorite Sandra Boynton book?