Hippos Remain Calm (Hardcover)
January/February 2024 Kids Indie Next List
“We can always use more Sandra Boynton and more of her Hippos, especially reading their Hippoetry! A great read-aloud with multiple tangents and distractions — and of course, music.”
— Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO
Hippos have a reputation for wild parties that go on till dawn. People have even gone so far as to say that partying hippos “go berserk.” Nobody knows how these rumors got started.
But even if it’s true (it is), it’s not the whole story. Given the deep appreciation that hippos have for water, it’s no wonder that your average hippopotamus seeks, finds, and offers a state of flow, no matter the situation.
We have much to learn from their example. Accordingly, this helpful book follows two typical hippos as they calmly and mindfully go about their ordinary hippo day.
“O, flare thy wild nostrils,
And welcome the day!
Onward! And upward!
Come what will,
come what may.”
Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, producer, and director. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over seventy-five children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. More than 85 million of her books have been sold, “mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written (with Michael Ford) and produced six albums of renegade children’s music. Three of her six albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold) and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has been certified Platinum (over 1 million copies sold). Boynton has also directed twelve music videos of her songs, including the award-winning “One Shoe Blues” starring B.B. King, “Alligator Stroll” starring Josh Turner, and “Tyrannosaurus Funk” (animated) sung by Samuel L. Jackson. She lives in rural New England, and her studio is in a barn with perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.
— Publishers Weekly
"Boynton’s beloved hippos grace pages once more; this time their story is a play on the author’s debut, Hippos Go Berserk (1977). A cozy day at home turns out quite unexpectedly for the titular hippos. As they wander outside “in the cool April weather,” it suddenly begins to snow. A loud group of ducks interrupts their quiet, and an evening with a friend eventually becomes an opportunity for a partying group of hippos to go…well, berserk. Through it all, the hippos greet each surprise with a positive attitude, turning something like spring snow into a sensory delight. Boynton’s fans will surely approve of this hippo revival. The illustrations are easily recognizable, and eagle-eyed readers will note that the scene with the party animals is a near-identical replica of that in the original. Readers will chuckle at the hippos’ version of poetry and a ringing telephone that demands to be answered. The rhyming text hits a familiar rhythm and read-aloud cadence. From deep breathing to displaying flexibility, the hippos demonstrate useful self-soothing techniques to little readers. Perhaps the most profound technique is that sometimes, remaining calm in a situation means joining in and letting loose with the not-so-calm crew."
— Kirkus Reviews