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The Problem with Pumpkins: A Hip & Hop Story

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Hip and Hop are not speaking, thanks to a big, round, orange problem—both really want to be pumpkins for Halloween. But bossy Hop says they can’t have the same costume. To make matters worse, it’s raining outside, so there will be no trick-or-treaters . . . and no candy! Halloween is ruined, unless this quirky hippo and rabbit duo can find a way to save the holiday—together.
The award-winning creator of Animal Kisses launches a new series about...

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Overview

Hip and Hop are not speaking, thanks to a big, round, orange problem—both really want to be pumpkins for Halloween. But bossy Hop says they can’t have the same costume. To make matters worse, it’s raining outside, so there will be no trick-or-treaters . . . and no candy! Halloween is ruined, unless this quirky hippo and rabbit duo can find a way to save the holiday—together.
The award-winning creator of Animal Kisses launches a new series about an exuberant hippo and a persnickety rabbit who prove that best friends come in all shapes and sizes!
Look for Hip, Hip, Hooray Day!, coming in spring 2002.

Hip and Hop's friendship is tested when Hop insists they can't both be pumpkins for Halloween.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hop, a white rabbit, intends to dress as a pumpkin for Halloween. He doesn't want Hip, a pink hippo, to steal his idea. Hip agrees to be a pirate instead of a pumpkin, but she sulks on the big night. Hop relents, saying, "I'd rather we were both pumpkins, than trick-or-treat all by myself." In simplified ink-and-watercolor panels, Saltzberg (The Flying Garbanzos) addresses a frequent quarrel among friends with a satisfying compromise. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The problem in this story is not new, but pumpkins give conflict resolution a holiday twist. Hip the hippo and Hop the rabbit are a pair of friends in a new series that one could liken to the Pooh-Piglet friendship, minus the bits of worldly wisdom and memorable phrasing that make A.A. Milne a classic. The problem with pumpkins in this case is that both Hip and Hop want to dress up as a pumpkin for Halloween. Hop promises to give Hip all his green M&Ms if she will dress up as something else¾anything else. The search for anything else includes a lot of silliness along with a few tears and groans. The happy conclusion is that there is really nothing wrong with two friends both dressing up as pumpkins, especially if one has a happy face and the other has a scary face. Saltzberg's cartoon illustrations are simple and colorful; young trick or treaters will especially identify with the back cover, where Hip and Hop are lovingly surveying every last treat that finally tumbled from their bags. 2001, Harcourt, $14.00. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-Best friends Hip, a hippo, and Hop, a rabbit, eagerly prepare for Halloween and anticipate the big day with excitement. When Hop announces that he is going to be a pumpkin, Hip declares that she wants to be a pumpkin, too, but settles reluctantly for being a pirate. When a thunderstorm threatens to ruin Halloween, they fear a fiasco, but finally it clears by evening, at which point Hip refuses to go out at all if she has to be a pirate. Finally, Hop concedes that they both can be pumpkins-one big and scary, the other little and happy. The most important thing, after all, they agree, is to go trick-or-treating together. The story, told in three short chapters, lacks vigor and is only mildly amusing. Cartoonlike illustrations in pen and ink, pencil, and watercolor do little to enliven the text.-Sally R. Dow, Ossining Public Library, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A delightfully dry humor courses through this three-part Halloween treat. First, Hop (a bunny) and Hip (a hippo) are deciding what they want to wear for costumes. Hop says he wants to be a pumpkin, but Hip says she wants to be one, too. Hop says he said it first and Hip will have to be something else. This throws Hip into a swivet, because all she really wants is to be a pumpkin. Hop finally bribes Hip with a promise of all the green M&Ms and a choice of costumes next year. Next, Hop is in a funk because it is raining on Halloween and no trick-or-treaters are coming. Hip tries to entice some by blowing a fan over the bowl of candy to send its aroma out into the street-no go-and playing scary music out the window-nope. Lastly, Hip decides she absolutely has to be a pumpkin, which angers Hop. Hip goes home and feels so bad that she lies on the floor, unable to bestir herself to go out. Hop materializes with a beautiful pumpkin suit for Hip, noting the differences between the two suits and, anyway, "I'm glad we're trick-or-treating together." Hip wants to know if she can have all the M&Ms, so as the green ones won't be lonely. "Of course," says Hop. The road of friendship is never simple, but it is always mysterious. Cartoony watercolors lend a smart animation to this tale of chums finding common ground. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152024895
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Series: Hip & Hop Series
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

BARNEY SALTZBERG is an award-winning author and illustrator who has been creating children’s books for more than fifteen years. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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