TROUBLE GUM by Matthew Cordell


by and illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6
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Despite Mom’s sage warnings, piglet Ruben and his little brother Julius wreak havoc with multiple sticks of gum (first proffered by, then filched from Grammy) and a newly knit blanket. Ruben’s purposeful instruction sticks (“This is how the big pigs stretch a piece of gum, Julius”): Even after the boys’ de-gumming bath, it’s Julius who provides both the ultimate laugh and the biggest bubble by far. Cordell mingles retro elements effectively, with a three-color palette of gray, pig-pink and red text typeset in Century Schoolhouse (think Dick and Jane) and myriad ink-and-wash spots that channel Steig, big time. These vignettes are offset by genuinely funny sound effects—“crinkle wrackle crackle” yields to “smik smak smak,” which leads inevitably to “stuuuurch…” The display type in many sizes fills copious white space—in fact, the generous 48-page layout is a bit of a stretch for this tale. There’s much detail to pore and giggle over, though, and the endpapers—front ones sporting bubbles blown to enormous size then bursting impressively in the back—are a hoot. Packs plenty of pop. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-312-38774-7
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009


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