Happy Hippo, Angry Duck
Author: Sandra Boynton
Recommended for Ages: 2+
Sandra Boynton has written many children’s books, all of which depict her signature cartoon animal characters; these illustrations are sure to captivate any child, as the animals have exaggerated features and are comical. “Happy Hippo, Angry Duck” is a story about animals that are experiencing a variety of moods. Children of any age will be engaged by the story’s rhyming words, which are quite funny and silly (i.e. “Are you happy as a hippo? Or angry as a duck, maybe sad like a chicken? Can you sadly say cluck cluck?”). These questions are also interactive and lend well to be read aloud to a classroom or to an individual child. The characters display changes in their facial expression based on what they are feeling; this can be used as opportunity to teach children how to identify feelings both in themselves and others. Being able to identify your feelings is a key component to developing self regulation skills; increasing a child’s emotional vocabulary as well as their ability to identify emotions is crucial to this process.
What I like most about this book is its acceptance of negative feelings and the message that they don’t last forever, which helps us teach children that moods can and do change. It also sends the message that others can help get you out of a negative mood. In fact, the book itself can! This book can be used to teach different emotions, facial expressions and how emotions are depicted in our bodies but also can be used to help a child get out of a negative mood. The book is funny and will make even the grumpiest child laugh a bit; it’s quite the pick me up!
Maria Santos, LCSW
Early Childhood Consultation Partnership