Happy Hippo, Angry Duck



Funny book teaches little ones about feelings.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Sandra Boynton's funny book about moods teaches youngsters about different feelings and shows cartoon animal faces expressing those emotions. Parents can further engage little ones by having them point to animals who are "sad" and "worried," for example.

Positive messages

Everyone feels sad or angry sometimes, and everyone's mood changes.

Positive role models

This cute rhyming book shows different feelings but doesn't have a plot or "characters."

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Sandra Boynton's Happy Hippo, Angry Duck has all the cute, engaging qualities that make this author/illustrator's books so appealing to very young children. The animal faces show a range of moods with broad, funny expressions, and the memorable, rhyming language includes just enough nonsense to make little kids laugh. This book teaches them about feelings and moods without actually expressing anything to make children sad, scared, or angry. Although the board book edition is ideal for children to handle themselves, the Kindle version used for this review is simple to navigate and allows adults to enlarge print areas for easy use.

What's the story?

Popular author/illustrator Sandra Boynton uses funny cartoon animals to show different feelings. Pigs, cows, rabbits, dogs, and more show different feelings, from "amused" to "grumpy" to "sad." Like many of this author's charming books, HAPPY HIPPO, ANGRY DUCK uses entertaining, simple drawings with brightly colored solid backgrounds, rhymes, and a bit of nonsense to educate and entertain.

Is it any good?


Sandra Boynton's Happy Hippo, Angry Duck is cute, engaging, and endlessly appealing to very young children. The author/illustrator's silly rhymes mixed with bits of nonsense make her books great favorites with little ones, and the expressive, cartoony illustrations show clear emotions while amusing readers. The board-book edition is ideal for children to handle themselves, and the Kindle version used for this review is simple to navigate and allows adults to enlarge print areas for easy reading.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about feelings. Do you ever feel angry like the duck? What does your angry face look like?

  • What makes you feel happy?

  • One of the animals is worried. Can you find it? What kind of animal is that?

Book details

Author:Sandra Boynton
Illustrator:Sandra Boynton
Topics:Friendship, Horses and farm animals, Wild animals
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Little Simon
Publication date:May 24, 2011
Number of pages:16
Publisher's recommended age(s):1 - 2
Read aloud:1 - 3
Read alone:6
Available on:Nook, Hardback, iBooks, Kindle

This review of Happy Hippo, Angry Duck was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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