Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

My Hippo Has the Hiccups and Other Poems I Totally Made Up

My Hippo Has the Hiccups and Other Poems I Totally Made Up

Kenn Nesbitt
Illustrator:  Ethan Long 
Poetry with Audio CD
For ages 5 to 9
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2009   ISBN: 978-1402218095

If you are thinking about getting a hippo from the local pet shop, make sure that you find out all there is to know about the hippo. If you don’t, you might end up with a hippo that has the hiccups and whose “hiccups shake the ground.”

This is just one of the funny and often bizarre things that you will read about in this collection of poems written by Kenn Nesbitt. You will meet a child who thinks his father is a vampire because Dad only goes out at night and he sleeps all day long. It never occurs to the child that his father might be working the “graveyard shift.”

Children who have parents who are always telling them to do this, and to do that, will really appreciate the poem called My parents are making me crazy. The child in the poem is convinced that his parents’ demands that he do his chores and homework are going to make him “mental,” and that he is “losing my marbles.”

In another poem we meet a child who has figured out how to get around having to clean his room. He has trained his cat to do the job for him. The cat dusts and sweeps, he puts clothes away, and makes the bed. Despite the fact that his cat is such a huge help, the child is not happy because in exchange for all this work “I clean out his little box.”

This book contains more than one hundred poems that children will find amusing and entertaining. Simple line drawings accompany many of the poems, and there is also an audio CD that children can listen to. On the CD, Kenn Nesbitt reads more than forty of the poems in the book. His narrative is spirited, and young listeners will find it hard to keep a straight face as they listen.