cover image Hiccup Snickup

Hiccup Snickup

Melinda Long. Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82245-2

In this giddy, cumulative tale, a hiccuping girl turns to each member of her family for a cure. Her brother shouts, ""Boo!,"" and her sister recommends drinking water ""from the wrong side of a cup."" Nothing works. ""So there I was, scared to death, in a wet shirt, wearing a paper bag...,"" says the disappointed narrator, interrupted by a sudden ""Hic!"" Such a silly condition calls for an equally outlandish antidote, a tongue-twister provided by the girl's grandmother: ""Hiccup snickup/ Rear right straight up./ Three drops in the teacup/ Will cure the hiccups."" Grandma, an unconventional sort in a backward baseball cap, mimes the nonsense words (sticking her ""rear right straight up"" in a hilarious way), and then the whole family performs the rhyme, three times fast. Long (When Papa Snores) keeps the first-person narration short and snappy, and voice-bubble dialogue maintains the boisterous pace. Wickstrom (The Big Night Out) gives the gangly, noodle-armed characters lots of goofy personality: the girl's mother sports a spiky New Wave hairdo, the sister prefers flower-child braids and the brothers dress as a pirate and a doctor. By the end of the book the afflicted girl has recovered, but everyone else is gasping, ""Hic!"" This ridiculous remedy is a must for the medicine cabinet. Ages 5-9. (Mar.)