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My son is 17 months and little book worm. After a little online researching looking for fun educational books, I discovered Sandra Boynton. Her reviews were excellent and volume 1 was a huge hit with my son - Boynton's Greatest Hits: volume I: Boxed Set (Boynton Board Books).

The 4 board books arrive in a thick cardboard box for easy storage. The pages are very thick and durable, they withstand rough handling as well as lots of biting and drooling from my son. The simple rhyming stories are very engaging and educational. The target age range is 2 to 5 years old, but my son will happily sit and listen to them. One thing I love about this range is the illustration is very engaging. My son will point out animals and make their sounds etc and they capture and retain his attention through the entire story. I didn't know what to expect from the books having not heard of the author before, so thought it would be helpful to detail the books.

The 4 books include;

1 - The going to bed book- This story is about the bedtime routine of animals who live aboard a boat. It reads

The sun has set not long ago
Now everyone goes down below
To take a bath in one big tub with soap all over - SCRUB SCRUB SCRUB
They hang their towels on the wall
and find pajamas big and small
With some on top and some beneath, they brush and brush and brush their teeth
And when the moon is on the rise, they all go up ... to exercise
And down once more, but not so fast, they're on their way to bed at last
The day is done. They say goodnight, and someone turns out the light
The moon is high. The sea is deep. They rock and rock and rock to sleep.

2 - Horns to toes and in between - This book teaches body parts in a fantastic rhyming story. I find it brilliant for encouraging your child to point out the items detailed in the story, a lovely story. It reads;

Oh, we've all got these HORNS right on top of our HEAD. And we've all each got two EARS so we can hear what you said ...
And we've all got a MOUTH so we can eat, sing, or talk. And we've all got two FEET so we can go for a walk.
Yes, we've all got ten TOES. And we've all each got a NOSE.
And we've all got two EYES that can open and close. And we have a fuzzy TUMMY that we all like to pat. And a little BELLY BUTTON in the middle of that.
Well, we've each got a back and a TAIL that is long. And two very fine ARMS and two LEGS that are strong.
We've got two handy HANDS and our FINGERS count ten. We can tickle, tickle, tickle or just count again!
You see out TEETH when we grin. You see out TONGUES when it's hot. You can watch us shake & shimmy with whatever we've got.

3 - Opposites - This book is self-explanatory. It is fantastically illustrated and we love to point out the animals IT reads;

Big and small. Short and tall.
High and Low. fast and slow.
Heavy and light. Day and night.
In and out. Whisper and shout.
Weak and strong. Right and wrong.
Hot and cold. Young and old.
Wet and dry. Hello, goodbye.

4 - But not the hippopotamus - This book is about a lonely hippopotamus who watches other animals having fun until they all make friends and he joins in. It reads;

A hog and frog cavort in the bog. But not the hippopotamus.
A cat and two rats are trying on hats. But not the hippopotamus.
A moose and a goose together have some juice. But not the hippopotamus.
A bear and a hare have been to the fair. But not the hippopotamus.
Now the hog and the frog hurry out for a jog with the car and the rats in their new running hats ...
... While the moose and the bear and the goose and the hare are doing their best to keep up with the rest. But not the hippopotamus.
Then the animal pack comes scurrying back. saying "Hey come join the lot of us!" And she doesn't know know - Should she stay? Should she go?
But YES the hippopotamus! But not the armadillo.

The books are small enough to pop into a changing bag to enjoy out and about. They frequently keep my son entertained when eating out .. as well as the adults. This series is just as good as volume 1 and I highly recommend!

I hope this review was helpful.
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on 1 August 2012
I bought this collection at the same time as Boynton's Greatest Hits: volume I: Boxed Set: 1 (Boynton Board Books) and although i do like reading these books to my daughter volume 1 has a better selection.

"horns to toes and in between"

is a good little book, teaching all about monsters (and your child's) body parts. Mouth, feet, tummy and even tongues all feature in this rhyming book. Its fun, and the illustrations are fairly amusing.

"Opposites"

Again has good yet simple illustrations e.g showing an elephant as big, with a chick on its back to represent small. Or an elephant and a rabbit playing on a see-saw to show heavy and light and so on. Simple yet effective way to help teach your little one.

"The going to bed book"

Consists of several animals on a boat, as you probably have already guessed, getting ready for bed. From having a bath, to finding pyjamas, to brushing your teeth to eventually turning off the light.

"But not the hippopotamus"

Another rhyming book about two differing friends on each page and a lonely hippo. Eventually all the animals ask the hippo to join them and when she does is replaced by a lonely armadillo.

These books are good but id definitely recommend the first volume over this if deciding between the two.
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on 9 July 2008
that's what I would call Sandra Boynton. What a great way she's got with humor and teaching things at the same time. Our then 16 month old daughter became an instant lover of the Moo, Baa, LaLaLa book, which made me buy the two box sets. In this second box set the stories are still a bit too complex for her, but I know she will get into it soon. She so loves the Boynton humor (in box set one)!
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on 20 February 2013
I already had the going to bed book, which my son absolutely adores, reads it every night before going to bed. These books are just as good, right size for taking around, resistant, the pictures are fantastic, my 3 year old son loves them !
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 February 2001
I unfortunately only had copies of But not the Hippotamus and The Going to Bed Book as a child, and these were my favourites out of all the books I owned. The books feature great stories and fantastic pictures which are truly brilliant, and I still enjoy them now I'm 17! The books I had got lost when I moved house and have searched for yrs to replace them, so thanks AMAZON!
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on 29 August 2014
Brought for my grandaughter ,i flicked through the first few pages to check it was suitable .I ended up sitting and read it right through .Love the stories and illustrations .
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on 20 June 2012
My 14 month old loves unpacking the books from their box set and turning the pages. They are fun to read with lovely pictures and the right length for a very active baby.
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on 12 February 2010
Has been a big hit with my 1 year old grandaughter since we started reading it with her. Doing actions (pointing to the various parts) really helps the enjoyment.
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on 24 October 2014
Lovely set of books bought for my sons 1st birthday - still reads them occasionally now he's three!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
We bought this collection of Boynton books to give to our Grandson. His mother had quite a few of the original Boynton board books in their first editions and we all remembered them fondly.
This collection has the books 'The going to bed book', 'But not the Hippopotamus', 'Opposites' and 'Horns to Toes' held together in one cardboard sleeve.
Our slight disappointment was that the words in the new copy of 'But not the Hippopotomus' were not the same as in our original British copy published by Methuen in 1983. The original had 'the animal pack comes running on back' the new US copy published by Simon and Schuster has 'the animal pack comes scurrying back'.
The art work is also different to the original.
All in all though still excellent books to read to young children and babies. Books they may remember forever.
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