Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him!

This is my favorite children book of all time. I have read this book maybe a thousand times as a kid, or had my mother read it to me. This is one of the two books that I remember owning as a kid (the other was Si Gonjeng. ke Si Gonjang? aku pon dah lupa).

I love everything about the book — the illustration, the story, and of course the happy ending. The titular character is a lonely boy who did not get invited to a big birthday party, whereas everyone from A to Z got invited. I lost this book, along with other momentos of childhood, when our family moved to our new home in 1995.

I still carry some mental images from the book. I remember, on one of the pages, there is a long chain of ice cream trucks, each carrying giant scoops of ice cream for the party guests. Also, I remember a page towards the end of the book: the guests are celebrating, and giant balloons are released into the air. Some balloons have alphabets on them (from A to Z). My sisters and I used to trace a path using our fingers from balloon A to balloon B, all the way to balloon Z. I also remember that Hooper Humperdink has a yellowish dog.

Here are some pages from the book which I looked up from Google:

cover page

 

huhuhu nostalgia

 

i want to be a kid again so i can read hooper humperdink all day

 

and of course the last page, in which Hooper Humperdink is FINALLY invited to the party. The ending has never failed to make the little Bal smile:

And today, it made me smile again. I got reminded of Hooper Humperdink because I just got an invitation to a friend’s birthday party.

Thank you Dr Seuss, thank you illustrator Charles Martin, you created the most memorable book of my childhood.

I just ordered one copy from Amazon, for old times’ sake. One day, I will read Hooper Humperdink to my own children just as my mother had read it to me when I was a little boy.

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