________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 20. . . . January 26, 2018


Harry's Hiccups

Jean Little. Illustrated by Joe Weissmann.
Victoria, BC: Orca, April, 2018.
32 pp., hardcover, pdf & epub, $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978 1 4598 1562-9 (hc.), ISBN 978 1 4598 1563-6 (pdf), ISBN 978 1 4598 1564-3 (epub).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Andrea Boyd.

**** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



“My brother told me what you have to do,” he said with a big grin. “Put your head between your knees, stuff your fingers in your ears, cross your eyes, stick out your tongue, and hum ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’—all at once. He says it’s a sure cure.”

Harry tried it. So did Mark. But they laughed so hard that they fell over.


Harry Chung has a horrible case of the hopeless hiccups! He takes everyone’s advice in hopes of getting rid of them, everything from drinking water upside down, to eating a heaping spoonful of sugar, and even putting his head between his knees while stuffing his fingers in his ears, crossing his eyes, sticking out his tongue, and humming ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ all at once. Nothing will make them stop! After trying remedies recommended by his family, a neighbour, Gran, and a friend, Harry finally gives up. Then—SPLASH!—a startled Harry jumps as a big green frog leaps out of the pond. Voila! Just like that, the horrible hiccups were cured.

     This playful, fun, and humorous story is sure to get a laugh out of any audience. Everyone gets hopeless hiccups from time to time, and what might we do when they occur? Ask others around us what their trick is to cure them. Harry starts off with a reasonable response from his dad: “Drink some water,” he says. His friend Mark then adds in: “Drink nine swallows in a row without breathing.” The advice Harry receives becomes increasingly silly as Harry becomes increasingly desperate to cure his hopeless hiccups. The illustrations of characters, in particular their facial expressions as they react to Harry’s attempted tricks, are enough on their own to make a young audience laugh.

     Harry’s Hiccups is written by children’s author Jean Little who was born in Taiwan and raised in Ontario. In addition to being a member of the Order of Canada, Little is the recipient of six honorary degrees and received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Her books have been recognized through numerous awards and translated into a dozen languages.

     Joe Weissman’s artwork in Harry’s Hiccups was created using acrylics on board. Each full-page illustration was designed with great attention to detail, as evidenced through lines, textures, and shadows in every character and background throughout. The cover cleverly pictures a small illustration of a frog in the background, an illustration which one would likely not even notice, nor understand its meaning until reading the story. Award winning illustrator Joe Weissman was born in Austria and moved to Canada at age 11. He attended the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Concordia University and has taught illustration at Sheridan College in Toronto.

Highly Recommended.

Andrea Boyd is an early years educator in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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