This artificially-flavored book is not dedicated to you.

Sandra Boynton has become my favorite children’s author. Nothing makes me happier than reading one of her Pookie books to my daughter.

One of our new favorites is her non-Pookie board book, BUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS.

I think the story and illustrations are incredibly cute, and Clara seems to be enjoying the taste of the book a great deal, which led me to this thought:

Artificially-flavored board books. Awesome… right?

I’ll have to see what my agent thinks.

My favorite part about BUT NOT THE HIPPOPOTAMUS is the dedication, which reads:

For Ash and Kyle but not Paisley

I’m not sure who Paisley is, but the dedication is clearly a play on the title and probably not meant to offend. But as I ponder the dedication for my second book, I find myself thrilled with the possibility of not dedicating the book to someone as a means of retribution, cruelty, or mean-spiritedness. Rather than honoring someone with a dedication, now I have the potential to dishonor someone instead, or perhaps as well.

Opens up a whole new spectrum of options and puts a brand new spin on choosing the perfect dedication. Don’t you think?