Search This Blog

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Desperately Seeking Sandra (Boynton)

Photo courtesy of
Okay…I admit it.  My Christmas texts are blatant plagiarism.  Actually, it is the fact that so many of my friends thought the texts were products of my wildly creative imagination that I have decided to come clean.  The credit belongs to Sandra Keith Boynton.
            Back in the 80s and even the early 90s, I was probably one of Sandra Boynton’s biggest customers.  Her greeting cards, printed by Recycled Paper Products, were whimsical, hip and environmentally friendly.  Quirky cats, perplexed hippopotami, goofy gnus populated her “Animal Farm” collection.  I think I bought at least one of each, depending upon the occasion.  My favorite still remains (and is still available…more later):  Things are getting worse.  Please send chocolate.  Timeless entreaty,  if I do say so. 
Photo courtesy of eBay
I even bought a Boynton reindeer (Bob) Christmas sweater, which I wore faithfully year in and year out…until I realized that every family Christmas photo for almost a decade included my reindeer sweater.( Laugh if you must, but an identical twin of that sweater just sold on eBay this year for $79.99.)  
  I think the last time I wore it was in 2001, for my ex-boyfriend’s grandchildren.  In Moscow, Russia.  I was pretty sure no one had seen me in it there. 
Anyway, last Christmas I started looking for Boynton Christmas cards again.  Maybe my new career choice – working with animals – had something to do with it. Oh, I had seen a few of her books in the children’s section of Barnes & Noble.  However, to my surprise there was no central location for all things Boynton.  No website that I could find (and I am a Google-maniac), no links to Boynton treasures on eBay.  For me, no gnus was not good news.
So, I could only fill in the gap with my left-handed homage to one of my favorite creative geniuses.  Those of you who have received the “Hippo Birdie Two Ewes” texts know what I’m talking about.  Still, as a writer, my conscience nagged me.  Sandra Keith Boynton had to be out there somewhere.  After sending my Christmas texts again this year, I resumed my quest.
            Eureka!  Sometime in the last year, Sandra Keith Boynton has created a website:   I won’t spoil the surprise, but if it’s chickens and hippos and cats and reindeer you crave…and chocolate…get your web browser browsing.  There are cards!  There are books!  There are songs! There are T-shirts! ( I didn’t see any sweaters.) Those of us Philly folks will be delighted to learn, via Sandra Boynton’s “Unbelievably Fascinating Autobiography,” that Ms. Boynton grew up in Philadelphia, a Quaker who attended Germantown Friends School.  Her dad was…can you believe it? English teacher.
            If you have been out of touch with Boynton-abilia, as I have, the website is a wildly refreshing dose of humor and warmth.  If you have not yet met Ms. Boynton, introduce yourself…and your children…and your children's children...immediately. 
            In the meantime, I am off to have some chocolate.  And to find my sweater.  In closing, I can only say (and the credit belongs solely to Sandra Keith Boynton):

            Mare Egrets Moose Two Ewes Panda Hippo Gnu Deer!


  1. "For me, no gnus was not good news" LOL
    Mary, I wonder if Ms. Boynton is responsible for the card with a ewe in a frilly dress and bonnet with the sentiment, "Miss Ewe." It's been years since someone sent me that card but the image stuck and made it into my novel, Peace by Piece.
    Heading over to now to check it out.

  2. I always loved her artwork and her playful way with words. I don't spend a lot of time in Hallmark card stores so I didn't miss her work until your post reminded me that I haven't seen it lately. Will check out the site to see what she's up to.

  3. How can I get my hands on that reindeer sweater? Any fans have any insight?

    1. I'm thinking EBAY may be your best shot. Unless, you can talk Mary into parting with hers :)