Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I just picked up Bubble Trouble from the library because I'm a big fan of Margaret Mahy, and wanted to see her latest book. As I started to read it, I realized by the fourth page it absolutely had to be read out loud. So I sat on my couch (all by myself) and read it out loud. It is such a fun read, although I highly recommend finding a youngster to laugh along with you.
The story begins with Little Mabel blowing bubbles across the table. They bobble over to her baby brother and take him away. From there the baby in the bubble floats around the house, outside into the garden, in the neighborhood and down to the shops. All the while, the baby in the bubble is "wibble-wobbling" away. Mahy is from New Zealand, and it shows in her word choice, as well as her character's names (Sybil, Tybal, Mabel). Here's a sample page:
At the sudden cry of trouble, Mother took off at the double,
for the squealing left her reeling, made her terrified and tense,
saw the bubble for a minute, with the baby bobbing in it,
as it bibbled by the letterbox and bobbed across the fence.
As you can see, it's a bit of a tongue twister, which I imagine gets easier to read the second or third time around. My kids would have loved this book when they were younger and I think kids will want to read it over and over again. Polly Dunbar's watercolor and paper-cut illustrations are charming and whimsical (and remind me a bit of John Birmingham's illustrations).
BookNosher Tidbit: Margaret Mahy has written over 100 books. To find out more about her and for a complete listing of all of her books, visit her website.
BookNosher Activities: After reading Bubble Trouble, kids will be inspired to make their own bubbles. I discovered a website devoted to all things bubbles (bubble recipes, bubble wands). It also has many links to other bubble-related websites, including the art and science of bubbles. What a wonderful way for you and your child to spend a lazy, bubble-filled summer afternoon.