Monday, September 7, 2009

Review #43: The Hiccupotamus

"The Hiccupotamus" was my first book and was released by a teeny, tiny publisher in 2005.  The book itself sold great, but the publisher went out of business the following year.  Fast-forward to September 2009, and "The Hiccupotamus" is now being re-released by Marshall Cavendish!  Hooray!  To celebrate, Bookie Woogie is kicking off the Hiccupotamus '09 Blog Tour with a review...

Lily (age 6):  The Hiccupotamus by Aaron Zenz my Daddy.
Gracie (age 9):  We have a special guest here again!  Woohoo!
Dad:  I'm wondering if we are even capable of reviewing The Hiccupotamus because we know it so well.
Isaac (age 10):  Gracie has memorized the whole book.
Gracie:  I can quote it.
Dad:  When you were little Gracie, I had to tell you not to beat me to my sound effects when we went to library readings.
Gracie:  Now I tell everybody everywhere about it.
Dad:  Gracie is my publicist.
Gracie:  At the post office I talk their heads off.
Dad:  So much of our life revolves around this book.  Can we even review it?  I mean, it would be like trying to review... trying to review Lily.  The Hiccupotamus is practically like a member of our family, isn't it.
Gracie:  Yes.
Dad:  Are we too close to it?
Gracie:  Marry me, book!
Dad:  You can't marry a family member.  Or purple hippos.
Gracie:  Why not?
Dad:  Alright, we'll give this review a shot.  Who wants to describe the book?
Lily:  The Hiccupotamus has the hiccups.  And Daddy, you do drawing stuff and then you have a puppet that looks like the Hiccupotamus and he always makes you spill drinks on yourself!
Dad:  You're talking about when I do school and library visits...
Lily:  Yes.  Yes.
Dad:  But tell people about the story itself first.  The book.
Gracie:  The book is about a hippo that has the hiccups, obviously.  And it's got very bright colors.  And the hippopotamus is easy to draw -- he's practically made out of ovals.  Just ovals!
Dad:  Now you've slipped into giving my Author Visits talk, haven't you...
Gracie:  Yep.
Isaac:  Throughout the story the hippo keeps getting into trouble after trouble after trouble.  Because he's a hippo.  And he shakes the ground when he hiccups and falls.
Gracie:  He always makes something bad happen.
Isaac:  He gets in the way.
Lily:  He went by an elephant, and he tried to say hello, but he hiccupped.  And the elephant got splattered with the frosting from her cupcakes and cake.
Gracie:  He always makes a mess when he gets the hiccups.
Lily:  And then the hippo went by the centipede that was pouring cement.  And they got splattered with the cement.
Isaac:  He hiccups, and he jumps, and he falls, and he makes everyone trip.
Lily:  And then they went by a rhinoceros, and they got all tied up with dental floss, except for the hippopotamus.  The dental floss twirled and spinned and tied them all up when he hiccupped.
Isaac:  So then all the animals try to cure the hiccups.  They get all these how-to-cure-the-hiccups books.  And there's all these different cures.
Gracie:  They did this crazy stuff like spinning him in licorice and tying him to a buffalo.
Lily:  He blowed into a paper bag.  And they scared him.  And they spun him lots and lots of times, but he kept hic'ing and hic'ing and hic'ing.
Dad:  So, did the story eventually have a happy ending?
Isaac:  Yes.  No.  Sort-of-ish.  Happy for the hippo!
Dad:  People will have to read and see.  And what's at the very end of the book?
Isaac:  At the end of the book are "Cast Bios."  Those are funny!  You've got to read them.  I haven't memorized that part yet.
Gracie:  It tells about the characters.
Dad:  All the characters are just actors.
Gracie:  Like the buffalo -- he is really just a ground squirrel in makeup.
Isaac:  That was a lot of makeup on the ground squirrel.  And he had to stay 14 hours in the makeup chair to get ready!
Dad:  It's kind of an accident that the "Cast Bios" were in this book at all.  The original publisher - not the new publisher - the original publisher wanted me to cut the book down from 32 pages to 24 pages.  Then after I chopped out a whole bunch of the story and created all the illustrations they said, "Um... actually we we changed our mind and want it 32 pages."  Now I had to figure out how to stretch it 8 pages longer, this time without changing the story -- because all the pictures were already finished.  So one of the things I did to help stretch it was to add the "Cast Bio" page at the end of the book.
Isaac:  It's so funny!
Dad:  I was just trying to find ways to fill up more pages.  And now that's everyone's favorite part!
Isaac:  It's my favorite part.  The new publisher almost took out the Bios.
Dad:  They did take them out.  But we convinced them to put them back in, didn't we.
Gracie:  Yea!  Bi-os!  Bi-os!  We love you!  Bi-os!
Dad:  Does anyone actually remember me working on this book?  Let me try to figure out how old you were...  I would have started illustrating this in 2004, five years ago, so you would have been 5, Isaac!
Isaac:  I remember posing for this page.
Dad:  Yeah, you posed for the elephant when he spun the hippo around with licorice.  So you remember that?
Isaac:  I remember it.  I used your belt.  I had to hook your belt to the doorknob and pretend like I was pulling it.
Dad:  I have a story you probably don't remember...  One day, I went up to my room to work on The Hiccupotamus.  I had this lovely preliminary pencil sketch of the hippo in my sketchbook.  I looked down, and he had bright - florescent - orange - nostrils.
Isaac:  Ha ha ha!
Dad:  Somebody had snuck into my room...
Gracie:  Ha ha! Ha ha!
Dad: ...and colored his nose-holes bright, florescent orange!
Dad:  Lily was a one-year-old, so it wasn't her.  And Isaac didn't do those kind of things.  So guess who it was?
Gracie:  It was me!
Dad:  I freaked out - but I didn't freak out in front of you.  I needed you to talk, so I was very calm.  I wanted to make sure you hadn't colored on anything else that I didn't know about.  So I called you up to my room and showed you the sketch and asked, "Did you color on anything else?"  And Gracie showed me another picture...
Isaac:  Oh no!
Dad:  That first one was just in the sketchbook.  But you had also colored bright orange all over the twisty purple tree trunk on an actual final illustration.
Isaac:  Oh no.
Dad:  I was able to cover it up pretty well, so I didn't have to start over.  And fortunately those were the only two things you colored on.  You can still see the one in my sketchbook.  If you look -- he's got orange nostrils.
Gracie:  Sweet!
Dad:  But I was very upset, and I said sternly, "Gracie. You do not come in here and color on Daddy's pictures.  Why did you do that?"  And you said in a tiny little 4-year-old voice, "I just wanted to be like you, Daddy."  ...So do you think I was still upset after you said that?
Gracie:  Nope!
Dad:  It melted my little heart into a puddle.  And I gave you a big hug and kiss and said, "Okay.  But don't do it again."
Gracie:  Hee hee!  I love you Daddy.
Dad:  Aww - I love you too!  (Kiss!)  I bet you don't remember any of that, do you.
Gracie:  No.  I only remember that you hung dental floss in your room.
Dad:  You just remember that because it's still there.  To see what a dental floss container might look like hanging from a tree, I hung some from a nail in my ceiling.  And I've left it hanging there still 5 years later.
Gracie:  Would it still be okay to use it?
Dad:  Does anyone know where the idea for the book came from?
Gracie:  I think this is how you thought of it: You were walking around thinking of books and then all of a sudden you thought in your crazy artist mind, "What in the world would it be like for a hippo to have the hiccups?"  And then you made it into a book.
Dad:  What about the poem that tells the story...
Gracie:  It's got a lot of fun words like "yellowphant" and "cementipede" and "criss-crosserous."  Really, really fun words.
Dad:  How did I make the pictures?
Gracie:  Colored pencils.
Dad:  Do you like to use colored pencils?
Kids:  YEAH!
Gracie:  Colored pencils rock.
Lily:  Because they are colorful.  And they are pencils.
Dad:  That is a good description of colored pencils.
Lily:  They are better than markers.
Gracie:  The book has very bright colors.  Not very realistic though.  The elephant is yellow.  The hippo is purple and pink.  The centipede is red and pink.  And the rhinoceros is orange.  But I like it that way.
Isaac:  I remember that you hated drawing the centipede because it had so many legs.  It drove you nuts.
Dad:  I never knew where to put all the legs or which way they should be pointing.  It was the hardest part about making the book.
Isaac:  Did it haunt your dreams?
Dad:  When I was done I said I was never drawing another centipede ever again.
Isaac:  But you do!
Dad:  Yep, when I sign books, sometimes I draw a little centipede in there.
Isaac:  But you only put like three or four of his arms.
Dad:  I kind of let him fade off before it gets to the legs.  I don't mind drawing his face though...
Lily:  I have a question to ask you!  How many colors are in this book?
Dad:  Good question.  I don't know how many colors.  But I do know the number of pencils I used.  From a great big tall pencil that went down to a little bitty stub, I used up 119 entire pencils.
Isaac:  Oh for the love.
Lily:  I'm glad I asked that question!
Isaac:  How many purples did you use?
Dad:  For that I don't know the total number of pencils.  But for each color in the book, I usually used 3 different shades.  I start with a middle tone.  Then I'll do the shadows with a darker color and the highlights with white.  Like here: a middle red first, dark red for shadows, and white for highlights.  And the elephant: a middle yellow first, darker orange for shadows, and white for highlights.
Isaac:  You never use black?
Dad:  Nope.  I never shade with black.  The only black in this whole book is the pupils in the eyeballs.
Isaac:  I never knew that.
Lily:  Are there any secrets in this book?
Dad:  Wow, no one has ever asked me that.  Hmmm... let me think.  In the Cast Bios, I named some of the characters after your friends.  Like Katie McMurphy is named after Gracie's best friend Katie.  And Samu Ti is after Isaac's best friend Sammy.  I bet Sam didn't even know that, did he?
Isaac:  I didn't even know that.
Gracie:  This picture is really funny - the elephant has an octopus on her head.
Dad:  That's my favorite picture.
Isaac:  YES!  Me too.  The whole page.  I like this little centipede dude holding the mask.
Dad:  This page was tricky.  I had to figure out how to illustrate a character behind glass... and a character behind glass underwater... and also water splashing.  All three things I had never done before.  And all with colored pencil.
Isaac:  The animals stuck the hippo in a fish tub.
Dad:  Fish tub?
Isaac:  Uhhh...
Dad:  Aquarium?
Isaac:  Aquarium!
Dad:  I like "fish tub" better...
Isaac:  And that's when one of the stunt doubles had to step in.  Because the guy who was playing the Hiccupotamus is scared of fish.
Dad: ...information from the Cast Bios.
Isaac:  I think he saw "Jaws" and now he's terrified of fish.
Dad:  What's your favorite picture Gracie?
Gracie:  It's got lots and lots of bright colors.  It's the picture of when the hippo hics, and all the floss goes everywhere.  It's got the angry centipede and the angry rhinoceros all tied up, and then the hippo is down there like he's scared.  They are all looking at him with evil glares.
Dad:  Poor little guy.  So, is the hippo bad?
Gracie:  Noooo...
Dad:  Does he try to cause trouble?
Gracie:  Nooooooo....
Dad:  He can't help it, can he?
Isaac:  He just wanted to say hello.
Gracie: (tears coming to her eyes)  Now you're going to make me cry!  (tears falling)  I'm very sensitive!
Dad:  Don't cry.  He's just acting, remember?  He's an actor.  Actually... he's not even an actor.
Isaac:  He's flat!
Dad:  He's flat on paper.  Uh-oh, hopefully that doesn't make you cry too.  Does he seem like a real guy?
Gracie:  He's a cutie...
Dad:  He is a cutie.  He's a cute little member of our family, isn't he.  And I like that picture too, Gracie.  It's one of the few places you see all four characters all in one image.  Alright, is there anything else anyone wants to say before we quit?
Isaac:  Oh yeah, the book is coming out again on September something...
Gracie:  Special edition!
Dad:  This month -- pretty soon!  Bookstores all over the land...
Lily:  Yea!
Gracie:  People should get this book.  You made it!
Dad:  Then you guys can eat.
Gracie:  Yea!
Isaac:  What do you mean?
Dad:  If we get money, then we can buy food.
Gracie:  Our lives depend on it!
Dad:  Such drama.  Let's close with this: Who's your favorite character.
Gracie:  The rhino.  Because he's orange.
Dad:  That's why?  So if I would have made the elephant orange, would the elephant have been your favorite?
Gracie:  Yes.
Dad:  Actually I did almost make the elephant orange.  The whole time I was working on the dummy, I was envisioning an orange elephant.
Lily:  I like the elephant best.  Because it's a girl.  And I have another reason.  It's yellow and yellow is the color of a duck.
Isaac:  Mine is the centipede.  I just really like him.
Dad:  My favorite is probably the hippo.  He's the star.  Hey, between the lot of us, we have the four main characters covered!

colorful hippos, by Lilycast of characters, by Gracieground squirrel in his makeup chair getting ready to play the part of the buffalo, by Isaac

Author/Illustrator:  Aaron Zenz
Re-released, 2009:  Marshall Cavendish
Like it?  Please find it!

A host of wonderful blogs are kindly highlighting "The Hiccupotamus" over the next nine days for the Hiccupotamus '09 Blog Tour!  I'm so very thankful for the time these folks have put into crafting their posts!  I encourage you to visit them and leave nice thoughtful comments.  Here's a list of stops on the tour:

Monday Sept 7:  right here at Bookie Woogie
Tuesday Sept 8:  Fuse #8
Wednesday Sept 9:  Five Minutes for Books
Thursday Sept 10:  Mother Reader
Friday Sept 11:  Reading to Know
Saturday Sept 12:  Book Scoops: (here and here)
Sunday Sept 13:  7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Monday Sept 14:  Jumping the Candlestick
Tuesday Sept 15:  Thing 1 and Thing 2: (here and here)

And for anyone who is interested, here are some older reviews and interviews from the first release of "The Hiccupotamus":  The Just One More Book PodcastWriting For Kids: Part 1 and Part 2The Kacey Kowars ShowJo's JournalKids Lit

Also, The Hiccupotamus has a fan page on Facebook now too, for any Facebookers out there!

And how about a Giveaway?  To celebrate the return of "The Hiccupotamus," and to thank our Bookie Woogie readers, we're giving away a prize pack consisting of all 10 books I've had the pleasure of working on thus far.  Yep, all 10!  The prize pack includes:

The Hiccupotamus
Nugget on the Flight Deck
Nascar ABCs
Nascar 123s
Howie Wants to Play
Howie Goes Shopping
Howie's Tea Party
Howie Finds a Hug
Autumn's First Leaf
Beware the Tickle Monster
That's a value of $93!  And I'd be happy to sign them too, which raises the value to, oh lands, at least $94...
To enter, simply leave a comment below!  We'll keep going until September 20, the book's official release date.  Good luck!  Spread the word!


Lynn said...

Very generous give away! Looking forward to following all of the stops on the tour. Congratulations on the re-release.

Carrie said...

GREAT conversation and I enjoyed learning even more about the book (119 pencils, eh?). Looking forward to featuring it at Reading to Know and running off to add a link to my post here....

Majeki said...

We enjoyed reading the stories of how Hiccupotamus was made.

We remember when the book first came out and we were babysitting you and Gracie read/recited to us the book, but she didn't know when to turn the pages!

Jennifer and Kimberly

Candi Criddle said...

My two year old (almost three year old) said her favorite picture is the colorful hippos so nice work Lily! Also this was a fun post to read with my little girl because she likes to say "Rhino-nocerus" and "Elpha-nant"

Heidi Noel said...

I read your book the first time around and told my husband about it. I have looked for it a lot since, but never found it. I liked how you had pictures throughout your review today as well as the ones done by your children.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Z-Kids! I stumbled upon your blog through another blog (Shannon Hale's) and I LOVE it!! Wouldn't you know that Hiccupotamus is one of my children's favorite books! I bought the book at our local Scholastic Book Fair probably 2 or 3 years ago. It is now one of the most requested bedtime stories in our home! I really enjoyed reading your review--Gracie you are a riot! My 6 year old daughter, Lanie, and I are currently working on a book together. However, SHE is the illustrator! I only hope to have as much fun working with her on this project as you 4 do working together! I can't wait to share your blog with my children and we look forward to hearing more from you! Thanks!


Alysa Stewart said...

How fun! You guys always crack me up.

Jenni Vander Wall said...

I can picture the kids saying that! I didn't know you had so many books....I love sitting behind you in church and seeing what the kids are drawing! I hope God blesses your work!

ElizT said...

You have lots of support there Dad!
[Postage to me just might put you all on bread and water,]

pambelina said...

I want to win! My bubs would love the hippo book. He thinks hiccups are hee-larious.

Jennifer said...

Why must you release this NOW, when I have used up my budget for the fall? It better still be available in January! And I will cross my fingers that my library (Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn WI) will win!

Anonymous said...

We love the hiccupotamus here. Congratulations on finding a new publisher for it!

Tina D

Jonathan Den Hartog said...

Do I get extra entries if I also become a fan on Facebook?

Barring that, let me say that Abby and Hannah would LOVE to get a selection of books headed by the Hiccupotomus.

Mae said...

That was really fun to learn about the process an illustrator goes through. I never thought how much work goes into each illustration.

And your kids always make any review more interesting.

Thanks for the review!

Boysnberries' Brambles said...

We LOVE aaron zenz books of any flavor and can use extra copies on our shelves. (sim authored and illustrated a book on middle earth for d's birthday and autographed it with a pic in the style of a.z.)

Laura said...

Wow! What a great prize! After reading that review, I think I'm going to have to buy Hiccupotamus if I don't win! It sounds like just the kind of book my kids will love!

Genevieve said...

I just ordered two copies to give as gifts. The Cast Bios are absolutely amazingly funny - I had seen them on your site but thought they were extra web content, not in the book itself - I'm so glad that they are!

It's terrific to hear about the things you had to do to make the illustrations, like hang dental floss and have Isaac act like the elephant. And about not knowing which way the centipede's legs should go. I can tell you'd be awesome at an author visit.

Meg said...

I was wondering when you guys would get around to reviewing "Hic" - and I'm so glad you did! I loved hearing about your creative process - and the kids' involvement in it (both welcomed and unwelcomed)! Your children are wonderfully articulate and creative. You are truly blessed! And I will continue to spread the "Hic" word as much as I can!

mrsshukra said...

What a really cute book! Picture books are the best! I really enjoyed this post, thanks!


Corey Schwartz said...

Are blog tour hosts disqualified? My kids are the perfect ages for these! :)

Kelly H-Y said...

Wow ... how exciting! Congrats! What a great feeling to have it re-released!!!! Can't wait to see it on the other blogs as well!

Eric Carpenter said...

Very exciting tour! Super giveaway...fingers are crossed.

Nina Crittenden said...

$94.... that's funny! Way to go, Z-Dad! I'll have to become a FB fan for sure!

Chris Kennett said...

Great review, I love reading your interactions as a family, your kids sound just great! All the best with the re release.

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

One of our story time favorites! So much fun to read aloud. We would be tickled pink (and purple...with orange nostrils) to win the whole Kaboodle.

Kristi Valiant said...

How generous! I just saw Hiccupotamus at Borders a few days ago. Our Borders (maybe all Borders) seems to have greatly reduced the number of shelves devoted to picture books, but your Hiccupotamus made it and with multiple copies. Congrats on the re-release!

Michelle Henninger said...

You and your kids are just awesome! Huge congratulations on the re-release! I'll tell all my friends!

Unknown said...

My 8 year old cousin and her 3 year old sister would LOVE this!! :)

David Miles said...

Weeeehoooo!! Congrats on re-publishing Hiccupotamus! He seems like such a nice Hiccupotamus and I can't wait to get the book! I'll spread the word! I'll get my friend the mailman on board too.. he knows EVERYBODY! (hope I win the pile-o-books too ;).

Penny said...

What a great way to give a book review, talking with your kids.
THEY ROCK. I can't wait to read this book to my grandchild and foster grandchildren...You have great kids.
Penny, hull.margaretatoclsdotinfo

Jenny said...

I should try book reviews with my kids some time. What fun!

Looking forward to checking out some more of your books.

Kristin said...

Love it! Your kids are great! Congrats on the re-release!

Linda said...

What a great giveaway! I would love to win.
Thank you!

Shannon said...

Thxs for the chance to win this great giveaway! Since my 3 yr old was a baby she LOVED my 3 year old has a baby sister and "reads" (makes up her own stories to go with the pages) to her daily. I wish you luck and I am hoping to see you on tour!

Shannon said...

I am now a fan on facebook too!

Cackleberry Homestead said...

Very awesome giveaway - I would love to win these to share with my kiddies!


Marina@EBMR said...

How awesome...I would love to win this for my 3.5 year old bookworm!

Stephanie said...

My girls loved the Hiccopotamus! We'll have to hunt for your other books as well - congratulations!

kayleeglo said...

What a cute interview! I just happened upon this website quite randomly but I'm very glad I found it. The book sounds fabulous! As someone who is about to become an elementary school teacher, I'm keeping just about every body part crossed for this giveaway! Kids must absolutely love these books!

auntrene said...

My DayCare Kiddos would love these books. What an awesome chance.
itsjustmerene2003 at yahoo dot com

Beth said...

Thanks for the great giveaway. Please enter me. I would love to win this for my little guy!

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! And you're giving gifts too :) Very generous. This was a great read, a little insight on the picture book process. I might just hop around to some of the other tour blogs too.

Thanks for offering up an amazing collection of books.

Honey Mommy said...

What a great giveaway! I am a children's librarian and I am drooling over here. My sons would love these books!

honey2mommy (at)gmail(dot)com

Jill said...

My Kiddo's would be in seventh heaven if they won this Adorable "stash"!

Gracie is such a tenderhearted girl, she reminds me of my own :)

hollybookscoops said...

I loved your review! I have to vote for the hippo as my favorite, but I bet you could have guessed that. I love the orange nostrils though. If there's ever a re-re-release, maybe you'll have to consider adding that special touch again Gracie ... but don't tell anyone I told you to slip it in!

Wendi P said...

Wow! What an exciting and very generous giveaway! You are very blessed to be earning a living from doing something that you (and your kiddies) love! Congrats on the re-release!
parodi821 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

What a great giveaway, and a wonderful review, as usual.

Wendy Jones

Lisa said...

What a fun review. Please enter me. My kiddos would love some cool new books.

Britt said...

Wow, what an awesome giveaway!!
Found you through Bookscoops-- love the review with your kids!

(And they are very talented artists! WOW!)

schriftstellarin at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

How fun! I came here from Reading to Know. Thanks for the giveaway and for writing such fun books!
Jen N
artandjen at juno dot com

Danielle said...

Such a great giveaway and would be the perfect gift for my youngest son's 4th birthday next month. He LOVES books and I know he would love these! Thank you for the chance!

Cocoa Lover said...

I would love to win these for my grandkids!

Marie said...

Very cute! My kids would love the Hippo book especially :-)

Belle said...

What a lovely giveaway! Your children are already such amazing artists - it's always so nice to see their pictures.

Cocoa Lover said...

I would love to win!

Cecelia said...

These books all look wonderful, but I love the illustrations of the purple hippo. Beautiful and fun! I'd love to be entered!


victor said...

What a delightful interview! I'm glad the book is finally getting the release it always deserved!

Unknown said...

Great books!

Alyce said...

What a fabulous contest! My little five-year-old would just love the hippo book, not to mention the nascar books!

akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

Anonymous said...

Please enter me. My son is just now reading and he would love these.


Janet Halfmann said...

Sounds like a wonderful, fun book. Congratulations on the new release. Love the review with your kids. Our grandsons would love this book. Thanks for the great giveaway.

KR said...

I teach kindergarten. I'd love to have this collection for my classroom!!


Unknown said...

What a collection! It would be a great addition to my daughter's library!

Unknown said...

I'm so proud that we got to feature it at 5 Minutes for Books, but I would love to be entered to win this great prize!

Anonymous said...

I would love to be entered in your draw.

The Holwerda's said...

I am going to attempt the comment using the alphabet backwards! Raina would love all of those books!

Zany Youth and adults get an Xtra Wacky View of Unexpected Treasures found in Storybooks reviewed on this blog. Readers Quickly Peruse the Observational Nuggets of the Much Loved zenz Kids favorite fiction and non fiction books. Just Including us in the Hilarious Going on’s of your Frisky children’s mind’s Excites adults to Drop by the nearest library to Check out the Books that the Aaron zenz family has reviewed!

Love this blog!

Brimful Curiosities said...

Loved "The Big One" color pencil illustration on Just One More Book. That's a familiar sight here. My daughter likes to pick the biggest, longest books to read at bedtime. I think she'd probably stay up with us reading all night long if she could get away with it. Congrats on your re-release!

Anonymous said...

what a fun book! We'll have to look into buying it if I don't win. We wouldn't want you guys to starve! :)

agordon10 said...

fun books!

Arin said...

Hello! We love the Hiccupotamus here at our library- in fact I am using in tonight in our story time for preschoolers - the theme is hippos! Thanks for a great book!
Love it!

Anonymous said...

My son would absolutely love these books!!! At 22 months (yesterday) he thinks the funniest thing in the world is when mommy "gets the hiccups" at the same exact time as he does. He just laughs and laughs lol.....thank you for hosting such a great giveaway!!

Karen B said...

This is the first I've hear about your books - and they sound wonderful! I'd love to have them for my greatgrandchildren.

5webs said...

I have three little readers who would love to get their grimey little hands on your books!
Alicia Webster

5webs said...

I am now a Facebook Fan too!
Alicia Webster

slb3334 said...

What a great set of books.

Stephanie said...

wow - look fantastic. always grateful for new books in this house.
tvollowitz at aol dot com

Qwill said...

I would love to win these for my preschool class. We love quality children's literature.

Michelle AKA blabla3269 said...

my kids would love these


nice interview

007blond said...

I found this site because of this contest. I love it! I have 5 Grandchildren between the ages of 6months and 8 years. We love to read books together. This site is so cute!
I really like the review for "Beware the Tickle Monster."
I am fan Bookie Woogie now.

Shawna L. said...


Oh thanks for this chance to win these books How wonderful of you to give us this chance!!!

Love your blog and Read all your reviews so thanks for just you too!!!

Sexy Smiles ;o.) Shawna

sweepmom said...

Sounds like a really cute book that my son would enjoy. Good luck on your tour.

Carol EL said...

It sounds like just the kind of book my grandkids will love, and I really enjoyed the review.

Tracey said...

Liz and Tristan always get excited about new books to read.

Mellissa said...

What a great conversation! What a great way to review a children's book! What a generous giveaway! This is a great blog. I'll have to find a copy of the Hiccupotamus to read to my daughter.

Badly Drawn Girl said...

Thanks for the amazing contest opportunity. I'm a early literacy teacher and would love to add these books to my collection.

tatertot374 said...

I would love to win this for my 3 kids especially my youngest daughter. She would love this
Thank you for the chance

Anonymous said...

Wow, these are great. My son loves to read & get new books. I'd love to suprise him with these.

hebert024 at aol dot com

kathy55439 said...

Wow wonderful.... Real family thing very cool

Brooke said...

Heavens... I've been so busy I haven't stopped by your blog for atleast two months.. I know this because my son reminds me as he loves me to read it to him... We would be honored to have a chance to win your books and Wee Man would probably make sure I visit everyday if we did.. now I'm off to start the tour....

McKim said...

One of the most enjoyable times I've had with my kids have been reading to them. It's nice to have that quiet learning time with them.

Heidi Noel said...

I already entered, but I wanted to say the blog tour was so fun. I am so glad it wasn't redundant and I learned something different at each stop. I must say that I feel like I need more of a life since I looked forward to reading a new one each day. Anyway, I hope I can someday see a copy of Chimpansneeze (Is that how it was spelled?) on the shelves.

Tarah said...

Oh wow! These books look so cute and fun! We love to read in this house!


Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker said...

I love the interview! If I don't win one somewhere, I'll have to out and get me one. How can I not support people as fun as you!?! Count me in!

cstironkat said...

This was an informative interview. Its cool that he doesn't use the color black to shade with. Thank you.

Mozi Esme said...

Terrific post! And I bet my daughter would love these books!

janemaritz at yahoo dot com

Nicole said...

Great giveaway. The illustrations are so pretty.

Winning Readings said...

Just a note that we've posted about this at Winning Readings:

iggysaysno said...

Wonderful and cute!

Sheila Hickmon said...

Very nice giveaway!!

degood said...

Very fun giveaway. I think my three year old would love teh hiccupotamus book and the others.

Rebecca Gomez said...

I'm a little late, but I made it!

Love the review, as always. Looks like your kids take after you with their drawing skills.

Tracysweetangl said...

The kids would love this. They love to read. Thanks for the great giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Interesting learning and great selection of kids books-
diane Baum

Molly K said...

What a great giveaway. My boys would love this.

Molly C. said...

We have a house filled with avid readers, so this would be an awesome prize to win!

dispatcher_kristy said...

Such a great prize! My nephews and neices would love these books

Amy delong said...

My kids are just at an age where they are really getting into cool books!!This would be great


AEKZ2 said...

We LOVE books! My kids need new books to read. Thanks!

chromiumman said...

these look great

Renee G said...

This looks great. I love reading with my boys.


Gabriel S-J. said...

This would be great for my son!

Tinyblessing said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I have 4 kids who love books, so this would be great!!

Jinxy and Me said...

Looks great! Thanks for the giveaway!

packerfantimmy said...

My little guy told me about this book and upon googling it, found your great blog site. Great giveaway!

Mishia said...

Thatnk you for the great giveaway! My little one love books.

Swati said...

Ten books so sweet?
Now thats a treat
that is hard to beat!

And so, I have duly visited all the blogs mentioned here, and left nice, thoughtful comments on each. (Except five minutes for books, which had closed its comment section already.) And I have enjoyed reading about the book, and your creative process. Not easy to have so many different interviews and still have something totally fresh and significant to say on each, but you managed it. My favourite has to be Personally and Professionally though!

Swati said...

And oh, best of luck! Hope the book does well, and we get to see the sneezy book next!

Kimmie said...

We would love to win all 10 books. What a great giveaway.


demmi said...

wow wonderful prize please enter me con5459(at)gmail(dot)com

Pamela S said...

It's Sept. 20th!! Congrats on the release of your book today! Good luck!

Thanks so much for my entry to win these great books! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

susan1215 said...

My kids would love these books

Dawn Reid said...

Love the review and The Hippo was my fave. Thanks for the giveaway.

Marianna said...

Wow - what a generous giveaway! Thanks for the chance to win! I love the kids artwork you posted! :)

Andria said...

What a great prize. I would love a chance to win. Thank you.

Cheryl said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe this giveaway! It is fantastic. I am trying to start a book collection for my daughter, who makes me read at least 3 books a day to her. Hiccopatomous is one of our favorites.

Unknown said...

I would so love to win this great prize pack for my niece! She loves books and I try to read to her whenever possible. She is about ready to start reading on her own and I hope she keeps her love of reading! Thanks!

sherri419 at gmail dot com

Librarian Mommy said...

Wow! Sounds great! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Maja said...

my son loves those colorful hippos. i love this prize. my son is starting to read and he would love it if i won this for him.

Bridget3496 said...

We'd love to win this! What a wonderful giveaway!

Sarah said...

Congrats on the release! I love reading your reviews, it's so fun to see what the kids have to say about each book. Thanks for a very generous giveaway.

Kathy said...

Great that you had a second chance ~ wishing you loads of success!

Fionen said...

I love your illustrations. The colors are appealing and the characters are adorable. I think my nieces and nephews would love the Howie books because they have a fluffy white dog like him.

liliesrnice said...

I would to have these for my little one!

Anonymous said...


cman said...

Please enter me :)

Rebecca N. said...

hope I'm not too late!! It's 11:07 pm here... This is the most fantastic giveaway ever!! I loved reading this post! I also love the cover of this book! Very colorful! My 4 year old was looking over my shoulder giggling at the hippo!!

imsosweepy { at } gmail { dot } com

Jaime said...

Me too, I hope I'm not to late to enter. It is 10:49 9/20 here
copperllama at yahoo dot com

Z-Kids said...

Thanks so much to everyone who followed along on the blog tour! Thanks for all the nice feedback as well. I hope everyone gets a chance to take a peek at The Hiccupotamus someday...

Time to pick a winner for the big 10-book Prize Pack. For our selection method, we decided to go with pulling a name out of Lily's special duckie hat. My wife gets the honors of grabbing the name. She reaches... she chooses... and we have a winner! Congratulations to:

Candi Criddle!

Thanks again to everyone who showed interest in the books and entered! Many of the other blogs giving away prizes on the tour have not checked in with their winners yet, so I'm looking forward to finding out who the other lucky folks are!

Chels said...

Wow, and you're an author too- I had no idea! I am honored to have you link to my little monthly share of reading. That conversation was so much fun to read. I want to find some of your books, especially this one, but unfortunately my library system doesn't have ANY of yours! So....I need to dig deeper. Thanks for helping me to find you! Happy Reading!

Glendee said...

I was excited to discover you today, Aaron! You might remember me as Miss Morse, 1st grade teacher....I love what you are doing with your family and with books. Would love to have you come to my school!