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Skeleton Hiccups Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 330L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; 1st edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068984770X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689847707
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Skeletons are a little less scary when they have the hiccups. This particular skeleton can't seem to shake them--not in the shower (nice fuzzy bat slippers!), not while brushing his teeth (woops! there goes the bottom jaw!), not while polishing his bones, carving a pumpkin, raking leaves, or even when playing baseball with his friend Ghost. Ghost, instead of Boo-ing! away his buddy's hiccups right away as we might expect, advises Skeleton to hold his breath and eat some sugar and drink water upside down. When he finally does Boo! it still doesn't work. But when Ghost finds a mirror and holds it up to Skeleton's face, he sees his reflection and screams in fright! The hiccups jump away, hic, hic, hic. While it's novel to see a skeleton eating sugar, drinking water, showering, etc., it may be tricky to find the right audience for this unusual picture book that's more about hiccups than Halloween. (Ages 4 to 8) --Karin Snelson

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Margery Cuyler has held executive positions in a variety of publishing houses. She and her husband, the parents of two grown sons, live in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She loves to interact with children on her author visits to schools and enjoys hiking, biking, and entertaining.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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My 7 year old read it to my 3 year old and both loved it.
Meredyth R. Satran
The illustrations are big and bold with vibrant colors that delight the eye.
Amazon Customer
It's become one of my go-to gifts when buying books for children.
M. Scott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Skeleton wakes up one morning (the headboard of his bed is a gravestone with RIP engraved on it) and discovers that he's got a bad case of the hiccups. He starts his day off, but the hiccups aren't making things easy for him. In the shower, he looses the soap. Brushing his teeth, his jaw flies off! Polishing his bones, the hiccups cause his arm to come undone! Carving a pumpkin and raking leaves aren't easy, either, with these bone-rattling hiccups!
When Skeleton goes outside to play ball with Ghost, the old remedies for curing hiccups are suggested. Skeleton eats some sugar (which falls through his jawbone and over his ribs), he drinks a glass of water standing on his head (he water gushes out of his eye sockets), and Ghost tries to scare him. Well, nothing works until Ghost gets a sneaky idea involving a mirror...
The team of Cuyler and Schindler have combined to produce a wonderful and funny book in "Skeleton Hiccups." The illustrations are big and bold with vibrant colors that delight the eye. Skeleton is beautifully drawn with enough detail to see his individual bones but not so much detail that he'd be scary to young children. Ghost, too, is a character, sporting a blue baseball cap he wears backwards and a pug nose. The pages are large and uncluttered and easy to read.
The text of "Skeleton Hiccups" is brief and simple, with small-font "hic! Hic! Hic!"s bouncing on each page as skeleton tries to go about his business with these pesky hiccups. When I read this book to a class of preschoolers, they really liked the hic-hic-hic part, and would repeat it every time they saw it on the page. Children who were normally a bit skittish around Halloween skeletons thought that this one was pretty funny, especially because he had troubles that they themselves have had!
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Normally, I LOVE children's picture books and am quite forgiving if something isn't right about the story or the illustrations. However, this time I am going to say that I just don't care for this story.

S.D. Schindler's illustrations are great--very realistic, the color backgrounds are fabulous in making the skeleton stand out, there is ghoulish humor on almost every two-page spread. In fact, other reviewers note the humor, especially on the wake-up scene when Skeleton first has the hiccups. The walls are darkly purple, like bruises, the coverlet is a magnificent cardinal red, the bedside table is upheld by two grass green snakes, the foot board is a big bat spreading its wings, and the head board is a RIP tombstone. You can't get better than the sum of those items!

Skeleton's hiccups are so bad that doing simple everyday (night?) things breaks his jaw, breaks his arm, slices up a pumpkin he tries to carve with the jolt of hiccups, can't catch a ball because of jerking from hiccups. His friend Ghost gives several tips to ending hiccups--none work.

Finally, Ghost hands Skeleton a hand mirror. That does it--Skeleton shrieks in horror when he sees himself and his hiccups run away, kind of like fleas. I guess the means justifies the end in case of Hereafter friendships. I just wasn't satisfied with the ending.

I certainly would not want to discourage potential buyers from purchasing this book. Other reviewers love it. The illustrations are wonderful. That's all I am saying!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A simple word text by Margery Cuyler is wonderfully illustrated by S. D. Schindler making Skeleton Hiccups a highly recommendable and spooky picture book for young readers just learning to sound out their first words. The playful theme of a skeleton plagued with hiccups and the ingenious cure his ghost friend discovers make for a thoroughly delightful tale that is especially in keeping with the Halloween season.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By History_of_Art_Geek on October 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Skeleton Hiccups is truly an original, and the artwork is the shining star. The images are creative, and hilarious! S.D. Schindler's work, the same illustrator of the famed Big Pumpkin, is fresh and creative. For instance, Skeleton's bed has a headstone headboard with R.I.P. craved into the back. In another scene where Skeleton is shining his bones, the can of polish says, "Ghost-White Bone Polish." I love the absurdity.

In no way are the pictures scary, or upsetting. Margery Cuyler's writing is simplistic, and appropriate for the very young such as a 2-years old. Older children 6 and above might be amused, but bored. Skeleton Hiccups isn't a Halloween book per se, but it helped to get us in the mood for the season. My 5-year old adores this book and has slept with it for the last 10-days! A REAL winner in my corner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Scott on June 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
My 3- and 4-year-old students absolutely LOVE this book. It's become one of my go-to gifts when buying books for children. Scholastic's audio recording is equally fantastic!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Natasha on December 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very well done illustrations but not much as a story. My 3 and 6 year old were very happy giving it to their school library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 5 year old checked this book out at our local library. He loved it and didn't want to take it back, so I bought it for him. It has simple sentiences that he can read to himself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michele Slack on October 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My 2 year old loves hearing this book, & he makes the "hic" sound along with me as we read it. Fun & clever. Amusing illustrations & scenes. A great halloween or hiccup book!
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