Thursday Thoughts: Two Christmas books (and one cow book) by Sandra Boynton!
Hello everyone! First of all, I wanted to mention that I have finally organized my Goodreads account—I created it over the summer, but I barely logged into it the last few months, so I finally took some time to get it back in order. I’ll discuss what I did in one of my upcoming Thursday Thoughts posts, but I figured I would remind you that the account exists and is no longer an insane mess in case you want to stop by!
And now for the main purpose of this post! Somehow, I have never once reviewed any of Sandra Boynton’s books on this blog, and that is an extreme tragedy that must be rectified ASAP, since my family has been devouring her books since I was little! Her mix of brilliant humor and whimsical illustrations makes her books just as entertaining for older readers as they are for younger ones. So I am recommending three of her books today, two Christmas-related and one not—but as I unfortunately discovered, both Christmas-related books appear to be out of print. (I knew Christmastime was—we bought an old copy off of eBay—but I thought Bob and 6 More Christmas Stories was still in print. Although I don't know why I thought that—we've just always owned a copy, so we probably bought it back when it was still in print.) At any rate, since these recommendations will be largely useless unless you want to buy off of eBay or a used-books site, I am also recommending a Sandra Boynton book that is not related to Christmas, but deserves plenty of praise as well—and it's actually in print! Let's dive in!
Bob and 6 More Christmas Stories
This delightful board book (with tabs for each story!) features 7 two-page stories that each tackle Christmas in their own way, starting with the ever-entertaining tale of Bob, the tiny Christmas reindeer that no one else can see (who then makes cameos in each of the other stories—can you or your young ones find him?). The stories segue through Christmas parties, the anticipation before Christmas morning, animals’ silly Christmas wishlists, and more, with each story featuring Boynton’s trademark animal illustrations, rhyming language, and plenty of humor that's sure to tickle readers of any age! And in case you don’t want the little ones too riled up before bed, the book concludes with a lovely Christmas lullaby (complete with sheet music in case you want to play it—or in case your child happens to be a music prodigy at a REALLY young age). Sandra Boynton continually proves that we all have an inner child, and stories like this manage to bring it out again and again—so even if you’re an adult burned out on Christmas, if you're willing to track down a used copy of this book, you might just find a little childlike spirit in these delightful stories too!
I think it says something about how much my family loves Sandra Boynton that, when we discovered this book existed but was out of print, we literally tracked down a copy on eBay and have read it almost every year since! This book is aimed at adults rather than young readers—in fact, its slightly-80s perspective on the holidays will likely be most relatable to older readers who lived through that time. Although I did not live through that time, and even I found it relatable—the specific trappings of Christmas may have changed, but the loud music, the attempts to pretend that you like being with certain extended family members, the social comparisons, and the endless things to do have stayed as constant as ever! Now, this book is hardly about hating the holidays. Rather, it shows us how to laugh at ourselves and how we choose to celebrate this season—and laughing at ourselves is definitely better than just running around frantically and getting exhausted! To give you an idea of this book’s sense of humor, I’ll end my review with the flap description of this book (read to the end—trust me):
What is surely the jolliest time of the year? What day involves a whole season of intensive preparation? What magical mid-winter event is celebrated with an exuberance of song, food, and drink, and an abundance of green? What is the most compelling occasion for the gathering together of family and friends to exalt in a common spirit of joy and wonder and reverence and hope?
The answer, of course, is Super Bowl Sunday, but unfortunately Sandra Boynton knows very little about football so she chose instead to write about Christmastime.
OK, this is the book that's actually still in print! And it's not Christmas-related, which is helpful, because this post is going up way too late for you to buy any of these books before Christmas even if all of them were actually still in print! Amazing Cows is well-summed up by its subtitle: "Udder Absurdity for Children." (Perhaps the best example of said absurdity: inspired by one of the cow limericks [yes, cow limericks], there is a link in the back of the book of the classical music piece "Boléro" played on kazoo for over 17 minutes. In these divisive times, I think we can all come together to agree that you should never go to that link. Ever.) This book has a magazine-style mix of zany cow content—there's 89 pages filled with silly short stories about cows being cows (well, cows that can talk and do bizarre things—"bovinely inspired misinformation," as Boynton calls it), there's a cow riddle, there is a full comic book and a cow myth, and there is a truly endless (and endlessly inspired) amount of Easter eggs and jokes, some that kids will adore and some that adults will find hilarious too! (There's also a really loud chicken and a confusing duck—need I say more?) This book is long enough to make for quite a bit of family reading time, but it's also so ridiculously fun and clever and hilarious that you won't be ready to pull your hair out by the last page. And since this book is actually still in print, I really can't emphasize enough that you should pick up a copy!
And that's what I've got for today! I hope this post gave you a glimpse of Sandra Boynton's truly unique and ingenious sense of humor, and I hope you're inspired, if not to go searching for any out-of-print titles, at least to buy a copy of Amazing Cows—it's well worth it! In case you missed it, here's the plan for my upcoming Thursday Thoughts posts:
- 12/30: Reviews revisited (January – June 2021)
- 1/6: Updates on my book-hoarding situation (and Goodreads situation!)
And I'll be skipping my Monday review once more on Monday 12/27, but I'll be back on Monday 1/3. I hope to see you then, and I wish every one of you a happy holidays!
Boynton's books are so fun. I remember having one of the board books when my daughter was very young, but hadn't seen the ones for slightly older kids.ReplyDelete
They really are so fun! And she's actually published an enormous amount of books over several decades—mostly board books, but also some of these other books as well. Thanks so much for stopping by, Helen, and happy holidays!Delete
Very fun post. I will have to check these out. Thanks and Merry Christmas.ReplyDelete
I hope you enjoy some of these, and Merry Christmas as well—thanks so much for stopping by, Rosi!Delete
I know I am WAY behind but I had to comment because we LOVE Sandra Boynton books!!! Used to read them all the times when our sons were little, though we haven't read any of these. Thanks for the happy memories :)ReplyDelete
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