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The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups Hardcover – June 4, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"With help from a hippo and an accident-prone little sister, a child explains library rules in this bubbly debut." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Cece Meng works as a small-business consultant and freelance copywriter. She lives with her husband and their two children in Santa Cruz, California. For more information visit

Janet Pedersen has illustrated several picture books, three of which she has also written: MILLIE IN THE MEADOW, MILLIE WANTS TO PLAY, and the forthcoming PINO AND THE SIGNORA'S PASTA (all Candlewick). This is her first book for Clarion. She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn, New York.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (June 4, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618595449
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618595440
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,076,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Walnut Creek, California, the middle child of five kids. Don't believe everything you hear about the forgotten middle child. We have our methods for getting noticed. My siblings excelled at everything academic. I excelled at daydreaming. My parents were not amused.

My experiences volunteering at a homeless shelter while in college helped me understand the importance of communication and the role it plays in how we see and understand each other as a society. It also showed me how grownups are instrumental in giving kids hope, health, and inspiration to succeed.

My thoughts on writing? For me, it's about the music and the rhythms found in words. The joys of my childhood - music and poetry - wrapped up in the words of today. I love to honor the impulses of our spirited children. I tell my kids I have the best job in the world. I'm a professional daydreamer.

Learn more at

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 6 customer reviews
I read this book once and it quickly became one of my favorites.
Sandy Kendall
The librarian recommended this book to us, so my 7 year old checked it out.
L. Klass
The story is hilarious and the illustrations are bright and engaging.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on May 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A case of hiccups during story time in the library is the worst case scenario - especially if a hippo is involved. Janet Pedersen's rollicking, fun drawings pack a funny story of wet sisters, loud hippos, strange librarians and more which is unpredictable from start to finish - and delightfully different. Teachers and librarians will find this a popular leisure read choice, adding life and a unique approach to a picturebook collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Reader on May 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
A perfect book for silly parents. I bought this book to introduce my 5 yr. old son to the concept of taking care of library books and getting his first library card. I wasn't sure at first if I liked the book (it's a little unusual), and the first time I read it to him I used a calm inexpressive voice and he didn't seem all that interested. After a second and third reading, though, I was able to anticipate the punch lines and silliness with a more excited reading voice and the book came alive. It is now his FAVORITE book. The excitement he had when he got his library card yesterday was SO CUTE! His favorite part of this book is the library book rules to remember at the end -- which is the one part of the book that I make sure to read to him in a very dramatic-yet-serious voice! My son loves to look at the illustrations...especially while sitting on the toilet, I'm sorry to say...though, he PROMISES not to break the first rule and drop it in the water.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Robinson on June 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups, a picture book written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Janet Pedersen, is a silly story about libraries, hiccups, and hippos. A boy has to leave the library because he has the hiccups. While hanging upside down from a tree, he encounters a friendly hippo. Adventures ensue, all occurring around (an in one case on top of) the library. Most of the pages are written in the form of "the wonderful thing about" something happening is some unexpected benefit, followed by some side remarks. There are a few pages in which the narrator admits that "there's nothing wonderful about" something else happening, like a hippo getting a with a bellyache from accidentally eating library books. Each wonderful (or not-so-wonderful) thing leads into the next.

The humor is deadpan, and seems likely to appeal to four-year-olds (or at least it appeals to the four-year-old in me). For example:

"The wonderful thing about having a hippo carry your library books is that he can hold them high enough so they will not get wet in the sprinklers. Little sisters, on the other hand, get wet quite easily."


"... holding on to library books while riding a scared, running hippo is hard."

The Wonderful Thing About Hiccups concludes with a tongue-in-cheek, but basically accurate, list of "Library Rules to Remember." Like "When you are done, return them to the library so you can check out more books. Do not return them to the grocery store, pet store, or toy store. Never return them to space aliens." As for the librarian, she starts out looking a bit cranky, but reveals unexpected depths throughout the course of the book.
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