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Long presents a fairly charming, old family cure for the hiccups. Perhaps “cure” is too strong a word, but the medicine is a lot of fun. A little girl is caught in the grips of the hiccups. Her Grandma gives her a scrap of doggerel that is known to give hiccups their walking papers: "Hiccup snickup / Rear right straight up. / Three drops in the teacup / Will cure the hiccups." Say it fast three times, she advises. But before she can get even one fluid rendering out, other members of her family chime in with their home remedies. Mama recommends putting a paper bag over her head while she eats an apple. Her sister suggests drinking from the wrong side of a cup. One brother scares the daylights out of her, though not her hiccups, while another tells her to hold her breath and stand on her head. The little girl is doing these cumulatively: "So there I was, scared to death, in a wet shirt, wearing a paper bag and eating an apple, while standing on my head, holding my breath and saying, Hiccup snickup / Right rear straight up. / Three drops in the teacup / Will cure the hiccups." Then it's all together now: father says to close your eyes, mother says to take a deep breath, brother one to turn her head sideways, brother two to stick a finger in her ear, and her sister tells her to hold her tongue. Grandma cuts through the nonsense. Just say the verse three times fast, and giggles come to save the day, at least for the little girl. Wickstrom's decidedly cockamamie characters, pop-eyed and slightly frantic, work wonders with the text, yet even still the real magic of this book comes in a read-aloud. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: March 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-82245-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2001

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Broccoli: No way is James going to eat broccoli. “It’s disgusting,” says James. Well then, James, says his father, let’s consider the alternatives: some wormy dirt, perhaps, some stinky socks, some pre-chewed gum? James reconsiders the broccoli, but—milk? “Blech,” says James. Right, says his father, who needs strong bones? You’ll be great at hide-and-seek, though not so great at baseball and kickball and even tickling the dog’s belly. James takes a mouthful. So it goes through lumpy oatmeal, mushroom lasagna and slimy eggs, with James’ father parrying his son’s every picky thrust. And it is fun, because the father’s retorts are so outlandish: the lasagna-making troll in the basement who will be sent back to the rat circus, there to endure the rodent’s vicious bites; the uneaten oatmeal that will grow and grow and probably devour the dog that the boy won’t be able to tickle any longer since his bones are so rubbery. Schneider’s watercolors catch the mood of gentle ribbing, the looks of bewilderment and surrender and the deadpanned malarkey. It all makes James’ father’s last urging—“I was just going to say that you might like them if you tried them”—wholly fresh and unexpected advice. (Early reader. 5-9)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-547-14956-1

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

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Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity.

A collection of parental wishes for a child.

It starts out simply enough: two children run pell-mell across an open field, one holding a high-flying kite with the line “I wish you more ups than downs.” But on subsequent pages, some of the analogous concepts are confusing or ambiguous. The line “I wish you more tippy-toes than deep” accompanies a picture of a boy happily swimming in a pool. His feet are visible, but it's not clear whether he's floating in the deep end or standing in the shallow. Then there's a picture of a boy on a beach, his pockets bulging with driftwood and colorful shells, looking frustrated that his pockets won't hold the rest of his beachcombing treasures, which lie tantalizingly before him on the sand. The line reads: “I wish you more treasures than pockets.” Most children will feel the better wish would be that he had just the right amount of pockets for his treasures. Some of the wordplay, such as “more can than knot” and “more pause than fast-forward,” will tickle older readers with their accompanying, comical illustrations. The beautifully simple pictures are a sweet, kid- and parent-appealing blend of comic-strip style and fine art; the cast of children depicted is commendably multiethnic.

Although the love comes shining through, the text often confuses in straining for patterned simplicity. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4521-2699-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2015

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