“Boynton’s books work best when they address adults and children together. In But Not the Hippopotamus, the title character does not partake in other animals’ activities: “A hog and a frog cavort in a bog. But not the hippopotamus.” At the end, the group invites her to join and she agrees: “But YES the hippopotamus!” Joy and comfort seem assured. Yet, just then, on the final page: “But not the armadillo.” Like all good literature, it leaves interpretation to the reader…For years, readers begged for a follow-up that would resolve the matter. Last year, she finally gave in and published But Not the Armadillo. After pages of gratifying, mostly solitary activities—napping, strolling, picking cranberries—the book invokes the earlier story’s ending: “A happy hippo dashes by. She wants to run and play. But not the armadillo. No. He goes the other way.” Don’t sit out if you want to join in—that’s the hippo’s lesson. But equally valuable is the armadillo’s: You don’t have to take part if you don’t want to.”
—Ian Bogost, “Sandra Boynton’s Captivating Universe.” The Atlantic. November 2019.
“Number a sheet of paper from 1 to 70. Beside each number rate how important each statement is to you. Zero (0) means that the statement is not very important or is least descriptive of you. Five (5) means that the statement is very important or very descriptive of you. Use the numbers between 0 and 5 to show graduations between these extremes. If the statement doesn’t seem to apply to your situation, place an X beside it. There are no right or wrong answers. Have your spouse take the evaluation separately. Then compare the two answer sheets and discuss where you agree and differ.”
“The 2018 Engineering Gift Guide from Purdue University is filled with fun toys, games, books, and applications to engage girls and boys ages 3-18 in engineering thinking and design. Items included in the guide go through an extensive review process. Researchers looked for toys that would promote engineering practices ranging from coding and spatial reasoning to problem solving and critical thinking.”