Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Killer Book to Die For! Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler

Believe me, I've spent enough time on the hot seat in the story circle to know that it takes more than a wooden stake to nail the kids down on Halloween Day. Veteran queen of the holiday picture books Margery Cuyler has a proven killer-diller in her drop-dead funny classic, Skeleton Hiccups.

Sight gags abound in S. D. Schindler's glowing ink and gouache illustrations of a skeleton plagued by a persistent "hic, hic, hic." From first arising in bed (with a stone headboard carved with R.I.P.), through futile attempts to rid himself of the annoying hiccups in the shower, with a firm tooth brushing (where his jawbone flies across the room), and by determined bone-polishing (whoops, there goes the arm), a bony protagonist who, er, just can't get it together is just plain, well, rib-tickling.

Friend Ghost steps in with all the usual advice--swallowing a spoonful of sugar (falls through onto the floor!), nose holding while drinking (oops, no nose!), and drinking a glass of water upside down (water cascades from both eye holes), but nothing halts the hics. Finally, when his best ghostly groan fails to scare Skeleton enough, Ghost falls back on the most shocking sight he can come up with, Skeleton's own frightful face in the mirror. Skeleton's resulting heebie-jeebies send the hiccups hopping--right off the page!

Skeleton's expressions as he struggles with the mundane misery of the hics are appealing rather than alarming, but the gross-out level of Schindler's illustrations is high enough to keep kids focused as the riveting remedies send the hideous hiccups to their final rest.



  • Oh funny, hic! I read this one for two different storytimes today. Hic! I sitll left wtih my hiccups. Shannon

    By Blogger Shannon, at 9:03 PM  

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