I, like so many other people my age, grew up on Dr. Seuss, with his whimsical illustrations, his celebrated rhymes, and his wonderful characters. Nobody else wrote books that were quite as memorable for his audience.
But have you heard of Sandra Boynton?
If you haven’t, get to a library now, and take a look at some of her books. While they are a good deal simpler than the Seuss books that I grew up on, they are just as enjoyable.
All of her characters are animals. Pigs, hippos, and turkeys all litter her landscape, and while the illustrations are adorable, what I really love about Boynton is her sense of humor. In every single one of her books she injects a light-hearted humor into the action.
Rose loves the illustrations. I love the humor.
Take for instance “Little Pookie.” Little Pookie is a pig character who has a number of different books devoted to his escapades. The first Little Pookie book we found was Happy Birthday, Little Pookie, about Pook’s big birthday events. The single greatest page in the book is a picture of Pookie, unable to sleep out of excitement, perched on his parent’s bed. Their eyes are wide open, staring up at Pookie, and if you are a parent, you know exactly what they are thinking. As he says “It’s me, the birthday Pook!” all they can think is, “well, I guess we’re up for the day.”
It’s those little touches that make Boynton fantastic in my eyes.
I have yet to see a Boynton book that makes some of the social statements that Seuss was able to get away with, but I don’t think that is her purpose. Boynton is having fun, and because of that, we have fun in reading her books.
For more about Sandra Boynton, you can check out her website, http://www.sandraboynton.com.