Children’s Book of the Week: The Hiccupotamus
The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz
Let’s just jump right in to this one. Here’s how it starts: “There was a hippopotamus/Who hiccuped quite-a-lotamus/And every time he got’emus/He’d fall upon his bottomus.” Now, you are either thinking this sounds like the most annoying book ever, or, like me, you’re thinking, “Why hasn’t this been done before?” And I mean that in a good way. We love this super silly, very rhymey, easily memorizable hiccup story. And why on earth has there never been another children’s book that rhymes “rhinoceros” with “minty dental flosserous”? It seems so obvious. But I never have seen it before, nor any of the other ridiculous and straightforward rhymes in here. Henry has taken to breaking into random stanzas from this book whenever he pleases, and we are all getting great joy from pretending Ramona is Hip Hop Rapper Baby, rapping out this entire book (which makes me think of the Flight of the Conchords’ Hiphopopotamus vs. Rhymenoceros every time we do it).
There is a kind of odd thing at the end where the author pretends that, I don’t know, the whole book is a movie or something, and gives bios for all the “actors” who play the various parts in the book. It strikes me a little as, “see, I can be funny in more than one way!” and it doesn’t really go with the rest of the book. But we have just been ignoring that part, and enjoying the hiccup part.