Area's Longest Overdue Book Returned to Library After 30 Years


A Missouri library received an unexpected surprise: the return of a book that has been overdue for three decades. 

The St. Charles City-County Library posted an image of the children’s title to Facebook with the caption, “It’s never too late to come back to the Library, especially now that we are fine free!”

“A customer returned this Sandra Boynton book to our WingHaven Branch today – it’s been check out since 1993,” they added. 

Library officials then concluded in the post, “We were happy to see it again but even more happy to welcome the customer back to the Library.”

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The children’s picture book was “But Not the Hippopotamus” by Sandra Boynton. 

According to the publisher’s website, the story is about “a hesitant hippo” who “makes a big impact in this whimsical story about taking a chance.”

It was originally published in 1982 and is recommended for preschool to kindergarten-aged children. 

Due to this fact, the comments on the initial Facebook post were full of comical takes and a few heartfelt statements. 

“Must be a tough read. Congrats on finishing it!” one user joked. 

Another user stated, “Kids books like that always get lost in the weirdest places.”

“Just in time for kids who want a hippopotamus for Christmas,” another user had fun with the book’s main character. 

Then, one person noted, “And the kid this was read to is all grown up now.”

Praise for the author and her extensive catalog of over 75 children’s books was also shared in the comments. 

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“Boynton board books are THE BEST,” one user said. 

While “But Not the Hippopotamus” is gaining additional press for returning to the Missouri library, Boynton’s new seasonal favorite is also once again reclaiming best-seller status. 

Pookie’s Thanksgiving (Little Pookie)” has hit number one status on Amazon again after being an instant hit upon its release in September of 2022, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

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Jessica is a homeschooling mother of 5, and author of "Reclaiming Femininity: Saving Women's Traditions & Our Future." She has written for, "RSBN," "Chicken Soup for the Soul," "The Epoch Times," "Missouri Conservationist," "The Federalist," "The St. Louis Post Dispatch," and her work has won four Missouri Writer's Guild Awards.

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