One of Geisel's manuscript drafts for the book contained the lines, "When I read I am smart / I always cut whole words apart. / Con Stan Tin O Ple, Tim Buk Too / Con Tra Cep Tive, Kan Ga Roo." Geisel had included the contraceptive reference to ensure that publisher Bennett Cerf was reading the manuscript. Cerf did notice the line, and the poem was changed to the following: "My father / can read / big words, too. / Like... / Constantinople / and / Timbuktu."
A popular choice of elementary school teachers and children's librarians, Hop on Pop ranked sixteenth on Publishers Weekly's 2001 list of the all-time best-selling hardcover books for children. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children."