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.
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.
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.
Holly: Don’t play dumb with me.
Cari: Are you talking about me?
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.
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.
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?
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.****