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Skeleton Hiccups


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About the Author

Margery Cuyler has written stories ever since she learned how to write. A children's book editor and author for more than twenty years, she now devotes most of her time to writing. Her many children's books include 100th Day Worries, illustrated by Arthur Howard, and The Biggest, Best Snowman, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Margery lives with her family in Princeton, New Jersey, in a house that's said to be haunted by a ghost! S. D. Schindler is the popular and versatile illustrator of many books for children, including Big Pumpkin and the ALA Notable Book Don't Fidget a Feather, both by Erica Silverman, How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky, and Johnny Appleseed by Rosemary and Stephen Vincent Ben t. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


PreS-K-This simple story begs to be read aloud. With a recurring "hic, hic, hic," Skeleton attempts the day's business: he gets up, takes a shower, polishes his bones, carves a pumpkin, rakes the leaves, and plays ball with Ghost. When the traditional remedies don't work, Ghost makes a face and shouts "Boo!" at his friend, but to no avail. Finally, clever Ghost confronts Skeleton with a mirror, frightening the hiccups right out of him and sending them "hic, hic, hic"-ing over the hills. With hilarious illustrations that fill the pages, this book will be a treat for children who can laugh at the slightly macabre. Not all youngsters will be comfortable when Skeleton brushes his teeth and hiccups at the same time, jettisoning his lower jaw across the page, or when the sugar falls through his bones and water pours through his empty eye sockets as he attempts to rid himself of the bone-jarring nuisance. However, Schindler's gouache, watercolor, and ink pictures make the most out of each situation, instilling humor in every scene.-Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Skeleton's persistent hiccups prevent him from polishing his bones (his arm jerks loose), carving a pumpkin, raking leaves, etc. "Drink some water upside down," advises Ghost, but the liquid pours out Skeleton's eye sockets. Relief finally comes when Ghost pulls out a mirror and Skeleton scares himself. Cuyler (The Biggest, Best Snowman) punctuates each sentence with a "hic, hic, hic," while Schindler (Big Pumpkin) limns woebegone Skeleton in pale blue-white on elegantly mottled burgundies and evergreens. The illustrations may be spare, but most contain a sly detail or two (check out Skeleton's bat slippers). The commonplace condition and unlikely victim make for offbeat-hic-comedy. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Offbeat -- hic -- comedy"
-- Publishers Weekly
"Words and pictures come together to create an offbeat tale that will tickle the funny bones of primary grade children."
-- Children's Literature

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