the Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz

For our Double Scoop in September we are  reviewing the Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz – a hilirious, rip-rhyming book about a hippo with the hiccups.

hiccupotomas

Holly has been eagerly waiting to get her hands on this book. We decided we both liked it so much that we went ahead and reviewed it as our double scoop for this month. Our review of the Hiccupotamus is also part of a blog tour for the re-release of Aaron’s book.

Cari: What did  you like about the book? Or rather why did you want to get this book?

Holly: I was putting together a themed gift at Christmas time for my three boys that involved books and hippos. The Hiccupotamus color scheme coordinated very well with the other title I had.

Cari: Is that all?

Holly: Well I have always loved hippopotomi (My favorite Christmas song is I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas) so when I heard about this book I went to Aaron’s website. I saw some of the preview pictures and read the first stanza and I knew I had to have it.

Cari: I think you like hippos because a lot of them are pink or pinkish-purple.

Holly: You are probably right.

Cari: Well interestingly when I read the book to my daughter (5), she had the hiccups which only added to the hilarity of the rhymes.What did you like most about the book?

Holly: I liked how the illustrations and the story worked together. I should mention that my copy is getting a lot of use, Every day.

Cari: The rhyming surprised me a bit.

Holly: “There once was a hippopotamus, Who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus, And every time he got’emus. . .”

Cari: Definitely a great first stanza, a lot of the rhymes are not quite what you would expect in that they are created words more along the lines of Dr. Seuss type zaniness.

The Hippos I wanted to give my boys with the Hiccupotomus for Christmas
Holly got 3 of these hippos for her boys for Christmas- they would have been a perfect match to Hiccupotomus!

Holly: Yes. So when I first wanted the book I couldn’t  find it at any regular book stores because it was out of print. ARGH!!! I finally found a used copy on Amazon and I clicked to buy it and someone bought it before I could. The next copy was over $30.00 and that was out of my Christmas budget. I really wanted it as part of my Christmas book package, so it was a sad moment.

Cari: Not to mention I’m not sure the author would have made money off that sale. The book is a really cute book.

Holly: You can buy it new now on Amazon or in book stores as it is being re-released. I highly recommend buying it (unless of course you win our giveaway coming up soon). Check back September 12th for our interview with Aaron Zenz to enter!

Cari: One thing I appreciate about the book, is that as an adult it is fun to read.  It’s not like some kid books that make me want to stab my leg with a fork because it’s so boring. I especially liked the cast bios at the end of the book where it talked about each character like they were a real actor and even explained that they used doubles for some of the ‘stunts’.`

Holly: My older kids thought those were funny albeit confusing- they had no idea actors and actresses participated in book illustration. That was an interesting conversation. As proof that this book is very lovable I just thought I’d share that my littlest now gallops around the house shouting, “Hic! Hic! Hic!” Yes, imitation is the highest form of flattery!

Now for a trip down memory lane

Holly: So, I know someone who gets hiccups worse than the hiccupotomus.

Cari: Who?

Holly: Don’t play dumb with me.

Cari: Are you talking about me?

Holly: Yes.

Cari: (sigh) Okay, let’s tell the whole world. Cari gets really bad hiccups.

Holly: Not just hiccups. Your hiccups are, shall we say… difficult to describe.

Cari: One of my teachers once told me they were so loud it sounded like my stomach was going to come out of my mouth.

Holly: Or so loud they could wake the dead.

Cari: I’d like to see Aaron Zenz put that in a rhyme.

Holly: I don’t think it would make a very good children’s book.

Cari: You’re right. So, since we are on the vein of disclosing embarrassing personal facts, I’d like to hear that story of yours about hippos.

Holly: What story?

Cari: You know, the one from college. Does Freshman orientation ring a bell?

Holly: Oh, THAT story (cringe). Do I have to?

Cari: I could black mail you with that other story.

Holly: Well, since you put it that way . . . without further ado, here is the story. Ahem. So, at the beginning of second semester college, we had a lot of students leave and new students moved into the dorms. So, a big group of us got together to play some standard get-to-know you games. To this day I only remember one of them.

Cari: I’m sure you do.

Holly: We were all sitting in a circle and had to go around taking turns introducing ourselves. The rules were you could say your name and one word to describe you or help people to remember you.

Cari: And you wanted to make sure everyone would remember you, right?

Holly: Something like that.

Cari: I think that was it in a nutshell.

Holly: Excuse me, it’s my turn to talk. Do you want to hear the story or not?

Cari: Sorry. Go ahead.

Holly: So, the game was progressing at a very rapid pace and my turn was coming quickly. My palms started to get clammy and my heart rate increased. I was really nervous. Thoughts raced around in my head. One word that describe me? Argh! At that point, it was my turn to introduce myself.

Cari: And?

Holly: I said, “Hi my name is Holly, as in Holly Hippo.”

Cari: How did that go over?

Holly: There was dead silence for about half a second, and then the whole hall was filled with loud, uproarious, very long peels of laughter. I turned bright red from head to toe and sat down.

Cari: I bet you got quite a laugh.

1001536
Holly liked seeing these hippos at the Seattle Zoo last year

Holly: You bet I did. That was definitely embarrassing. Perhaps even more embarrassing was that the whole boy’s dorm had heard about it by morning and I was greeted by, “Hi Holly . . . Hippo (wink, wink)” all day as I walked to and from classes the next day, or week, it may have gone on as long as a month.

Cari: I can’t believe you did that.

Holly: Neither can I. I tried to forget. I have one friend, though, who still reminds me from time to time, even though it’s been awhile.

Cari: So should we put Holly Hippo as your name on bookscoops?

Holly: Just plain Holly is fine.

Cari: What were you thinking?

Holly: I don’t know . . . alliteration? Don’t we all reach for literary tools when we’re under pressure?

Cari: Um . . . I think you’re the only one, and now I will use my older sister powers and change your name to holly ‘hippo’ bookscoops.

Holly: Then I will change your name to CariCamelCrocodileCookiebookscoops.

Cari: Oh Yeah? Well how about happyhollyhippohelperbookscoops?

Holly: I think maybe we should make up a rhyme. I dedicate this verse to my sister Cari who, though older, is shorter.

There once was a Cari Camel

who Cried for Chocolate Cookies

Her sister said, “No. They don’t help you grow”

So, instead Cari read lots of bookies

Cari: I think maybe we better let Aaron be in charge of the rhyming.

Holly: What, you don’t like my rhyming? Why don’t you give it a try?

Cari: Okay,

There once was a hollypotomus

Who hiccupped quite a lotamus

And every time she gotemus,

She fell upon her bottomus

Holly: That was cheating.

Cari: But it sounds better than yours.

Holly: Yes, but it was still cheating.

Cari: Let’s call it a tie.

Holly: Hmm… Alliteration… Cari Cheater, Cheater Cari, darn it. It just doesn’t sound right.

Cari: Ha ha ha!

***Click on the title for details on entering the details of the Hiccupotamus giveaway and for the author interview with Aaron Zenz.****

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “the Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz

  1. This was so much fun! Thanks for the great Double Scoop and wonderful stories!

    Your rhyming was just superb. You need no help from me. However, I did detect the hint of a challenge earlier on in the review. So here you go… It’s a bit darker than what I normally compose, but you ladies did pick the content:

    “Cari’ed Away”

    She hiccuped her stomach right out of her head.
    She hic’ed so loud that she woke the dead.
    “I’ve no need of this stomach,” the corpse then said.
    So he handed it back and returned to bed.

    Cheers!

  2. You know, I have some hiccup issues myself. In fact, I’ve spawned a new term in the family: hiccup-burp. I assure you it is just as awesome as it sounds. Unless you are the one hiccup-burping. TMI? Probably.

  3. Britt- Yes, the book is really fun. And I agree, Cari’ed Away needs to be framed and put in a memory book- right next to the camel poem of course!

    Aaron- You’re welcome! We had a lot of fun putting this together. I have to say, I’m impressed that you were able to put all of that gruesome content in one verse. We’re looking forward to posting the interview tomorrow!

  4. Melissa- Sorry I missed your comment earlier- it was awaiting moderation for whatever reason. I think you’ve coined a term that describes Cari’s hiccups in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Britt – it really is a fun book.

    Aaron – Wow! Thanks for the poetry ditty. I was at work earlier this morning and didn’t get a chance to respond until now – Holly kept asking me to read it and I finally got a chance. I love it! Maybe I should make it into a cross stitch for Halloween j/k.

    Melissa – I concur with my sister a hiccup burp would be a good description.

  6. While The Hiccupotamus is the favorite picture book in our home (for both parents and toddlers), a close second at the moment is “I’m a Manatee” by John Lithgow. Mr. Lithgow has similar fun with rhymes – and in general, our family just seems to like big grey mammals, I guess!

  7. I’m always bad at picking “favorites,” but a rhyming book that makes me feel like a child again is Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb.

  8. I had to laugh when I read that your favorite Christmas song is I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas, because we have that song in our hippo guest room on one of those press-a-button-and-a-song-plays. The guest room is now changing into a hippo and monkey themed nursery.
    Fun rhyming – my favorite rhyming picture books are the Little Blessings series. I also have a number of copies of Dean’s Mother Goose Book of Rhymes that I absolutely adore.

  9. Hmm…I love so many books I can’t think of just one book. Green Eggs and Ham is not an original choice by any stretch but it is the first one that comes to mind. It was the first book I learned to “read”. (My mom says I just memorized it.)

  10. Loved the review of the book and the funny sister story telling. I especially loved Aaron’s Cari poem. The illustrations in the book are my favorite part. Didn’t have time to respond before the deadline, but oh, well. It was a great post.

  11. So funny! I know the “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by heart! My favorite song besides “Little Orange Bird” when I was little.

  12. I haven’t been on your blog in a long time and I have really been missing out. This post was so funny. Thanks for the laugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s