Review — Trouble Gum

Trouble Gum
Written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Feiwel and Friends, 2009
Hardcover Picture Book

This new picture book is about fun – pink fun, stretchy fun, bubble fun – yes, gum fun. And as the title states it’s a book about trouble too.

On a rainy day, Rueben and his younger brother are playing inside and soon the piglets’ raucous behavior unnerves their mother and visiting grandmother. Grammy offers gum while Mom invokes the three rules, “Don’t swallow your gum. Don’t play with your gum. And don’t blow big, sticky bubbles with your gum.” How long do you think it takes to break those rules? How long before fun becomes trouble? Cordell does a fine job with pacing and juxtaposing art with text so that readers are simultaneously laughing while exclaiming Oh no! The black line cartoon-y art with just small bits of pink, red and gray is perfectly placed against a white background. There’s plenty of room for changing perspectives, lots of action, and text that is both story and art. Some text in hand-lettered font — SMAK! Stuuuuuuuuuurch Pop! — creates a soundtrack of the misbehaving brothers. Cleverness and hilarity run throughout the story.

Thanks to Feiwel and Friends for the f & g given at their reception for bloggers during ALA.AND they gave us these terrific promo gifts — guess what’s inside the tiny box?

Click here to go to Matthew Cordell’s website.

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