Bubble Trouble

by Margaret Mahy. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. Picture Book. 32 pages. Grades PreK-2.
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cover art

This is a playful fantasy full of wordplay. There's rhyming and alliteration and tongue twister phrases as a baby boy gets swept up in a bubble and a growing cast of characters chase after him.

If you like a challenging read aloud try this book -- but be sure you practice first. It starts, innocently enough:

"Little Mabel blew a bubble, and it caused a lot of trouble . . . Such a lot of bubble trouble in a bibble-bobble way."

But once the rhythm and tongue twisters get going stumbling over the words is inevitable.

"even feeble Mrs. Threeble, in a muddle with her needle (matching pink and purple patcher for a pretty patchwork quilt), when her older sister told her, tossed the quilt across her shoulder, as she set off at a totter in her tattered tartan kilt."

The artwork, watercolors on textured paper, helps by playing out all the rapid fire details from the text as we see the crowd growing and the problem of getting the baby down reach a crisis.

You can use this book to introduce several writing techniques to older kids.




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  • Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue by Jon Agee. (2009, Hyperion. ISBN 978-1423103158. Order Info.) Picture Book. 32 pages. Gr 1-6.