My library recently asked staff to help with a display for “Books That Changed Your Life.” Hippos Go Berserk! was one of my picks! It may be overstating it a bit, but I feel like this book brought us together as a new family.
We had received one of Sandra Boynton‘s other great books, Are You a Cow?, when the Imp was born. I had already known how great Boynton is, but the Giant hadn’t encountered her before. Even though we were exhausted and confused new parents, he said that we should go to our awesome local children’s bookstore and get some more of Boynton’s books. So that was one of the Imp’s first outings, at about a month old.
We purchased Hippos Go Berserk! and life would never be the same – the Imp loved it! We read it so often that we can recite it by heart, we’ve read it backwards, the Giant made up a jazzy, Sinatra-esque tune for it and we’d sing it in the car… Once I was back at work, the Giant was still reading it so often that he started noticing little details and making up back stories for the hippos – “Look at that one’s sidelong look, he’s thinking ‘Oh no, it’s the Johnsons again!'” He pointed out that the 9 hippos who come to work go about their jobs soberly and diligently, so therefore all the hippos do not, in fact, go berserk. And he’s concerned that the last 2 hippos have stolen hippo #1’s wheelbarrow. So it makes the two of us laugh together, too.
The Imp always, always smiles when we get to the berserk page and will sometimes turn the pages on us in mid-sentence to get there faster. Now that he’s starting to learn more words, he likes pointing to the numbers and also the page with the moon and the tree. I’m so pleased that the book is growing with him (most board books have a limited shelf life) and it’s been so well-loved that we recently had to buy a new copy, because the original looked like this:
How about you? Do you have a favourite Boynton book? What are some fun ways you’ve jazzed-up story times? You’re comments are welcome!
Reviewed by The Library Fairy
(review copy personally purchased).