About the Author
Stephen Gilpin graduated from the NYC School of Visual Arts where he studied painting and cartooning. He is the illustrator of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk series and The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series. Stephen currently lives in Hiawatha, Kansas. Visit him at SGilpin.com.
Read an Excerpt
Hey, great news!
I just learned what a prologue is.
Okay, so maybe you're not jumping up and down in your size seven Nikes, hooting and hollering and shouting, "Three cheers for this guy, he's learned what a prologue is." (By the way, if you are doing that, close this book right now, because that's a really weird thing to do and you need to go to a doctor immediately and get that checked out.)
Now, put yourself in my place. Here I am writing a prologue again, but this time, I actually know what one is, which is definitely cool. I might not have ever found out, except that a bunch of you wrote me letters after my first book and said, "Hey, ding-dong...why not try learning what a prologue is before you go and write one?" If you ask me, and I know you didn't, that was an excellent suggestion.
So I took your advice and got out the big old dictionary my sister Lark keeps next to her pillow. (That's right, she likes to fall asleep reading the dictionary, which, by the way, I consider highly and completely and totally abnormal, like everything else my three sisters do.) And there it was on page 362, right after "prolix" and just before "prolong."
Prologue an introduction to a poem, play, or literary work.
Literary work! I like the sound of that. This isn't just a book you're reading, my friends. It's a literary work. Hey, are we smart or what?
Now I don't mean to turn this into a big, boring, brain-twisting vocab lesson or anything, but there's one other word that you're going to need.
If you're the "I love to read dictionaries" type like my sister Lark, go right ahead and look it up. Knock yourself out. But I'm warning you, I doubt that you'll find it, because I'm pretty sure it's a word I made up myself. So I'll just tell you right now what a giccup is and save your eyes from having to squint at all those ant-sized words crawling around on those humungous dictionary pages.
Have you ever taken a big swig of Coke and right afterward, without even thinking about it, opened your mouth to say something and a huge burp came flying out? Don't try to tell me that's never happened to you. I know it has, because it's happened to me like a thousand times. Anyway, that sound is not a giccup. It's a burp, which is a first cousin to a giccup.
Question Number Two. Have you ever gotten a really big case of the hiccups, like after you've eaten a spicy burrito from a bad fast-food drive-thru? And then your whole family starts waving their hands in your face and screaming BOO to try to scare you and make the hiccups go away? Well, those hiccups are related to giccups, but still not the real deal.
Last question. Have you ever gargled with mouthwash? My mom makes me do it when I have a sore throat. You take a mouthful of the stuff, then tilt your head way back and try to say something starting with G, like "great green gobs of goofy grapes." Then two things happen. First, you feel like a totaljerk. Second, your throat makes this weird bubbling noise that is called a gargle.
So here's the deal. If you mix a burp, a hiccup, and a gargle all together into one giant slobbery sound, that, my friends, is a giccup.
Okay, now you're probably asking yourself, "Why is this guy spending a whole prologue rattling on about a slobbery throat sound?"
I'll tell you why. Because last Thursday, one giccup totally changed my life.
Maybe not quite as much as when I discovered that I could shrink down to the size of the fourth toe on my left foot. Or when I realized that I had a twin brother named Pablo who was also the size of a toe.
But still, that giccup was a very very big deal.
You'll see. When I tell you what happened last Thursday at 3:47 p.m. right after I giccuped in Science Club, you're going to say, "Daniel Funk, you have got to be kidding!"
Oh, yeah: Daniel Funk, that's me. Welcome to my world.
Copyright © 2009 by Lin Oliver