Sandra Boynton is the Shakespeare of board books.
She’s the best there ever was. The GOAT. Her books are short and punchy, so kids love them. They’re hilarious and fun to read, so parents love them. Our household’s current favorite, Dinosaur Dance, begins, “Zang! Bop! Kiddly-pow! The dinosaur dance is starting now!” Now that’s how you start a board book.
Her fellow author Ann Patchett put it best: “Sandra Boynton is to the board book what Dr. Seuss was to the picture book, what Maurice Sendak was to illustration, what Shel Silverstein was to children’s poetry. It’s just her up there at the top and then a whole lot of other people sharing second place.”
The world is full of Sandra Boyntons. For every domain we care about—our careers, our hobbies—there’s someone who’s the best, whose abilities are so far beyond ours that even in 10 lifetimes we couldn’t match their accomplishments.
The novice children’s author seeking to get published will never be Sandra Boynton. But he has his own story to tell. He’s not in competition with her, thank goodness. The world doesn’t need more Sandra Boyntons or even more board books, but it needs more writers, more storytellers, and more people who put their work into the world.
And next time you need a baby shower gift, trust me: pick up a couple of Boynton books. May I suggest Dinosaur Dance?