On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex

Cover image for On Account of the Gum

On Account of the Gum by Adam Rex (9781452181547)

After falling asleep chewing gum, it ends up in your hair. When your father tries to cut out the gum, the scissors end up stuck there too. They look online and discover that all the website advise to use two sticks of butter. But the websites were wrong, and the butter is also now in your hair. Your aunt adds the grass. Your grandpa adds the bacon and noodles. Your rabbit eats grass, but ends up stuck too. Perhaps the cat will help? Or scaring the cat away from your head with the vacuum cleaner? Nope, those are stuck too. But don’t worry, the firemen are on their way!

Rex writes this book in the second person, inviting the reader to feel what it’s like not just to have gum in your hair, but all of these other things. It makes the book feel personal and also adds to the wild hilarity as the story builds. The focus of the illustrations is just like the cover, with the desperation building. Rex continues to add to the humor all the way to the end, creating a real catastrophe that will have children entirely engaged.

The illustrations are marvelous with the various family members coming in with their own solutions. The desperation in the main character’s eyes adds to the hilarity, even as they look right at the reader. There’s a wonderful blankness there too, a sense of despair.

Hilarious, this is one you are bound to stick with until the end. Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Chronicle Books.

Chavela and the Magic Bubble


Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown, illustrated by Magaly Morales

Chavela loves chewing gum and blowing bubbles.  One day she finds a kind of gum in the store that she has never seen before: Magic Chicle.  Her mother explains that gum is made from the sap of the sapodilla tree, called chicle.  Her mother’s father was a Chiclero who harvest the chicle and care for the trees.  When Chavela popped the gum in her mouth, she was able to blow a huge bubble that carried her out of her room and from California into Mexico to Playa del Carmen.  There she got to see the sapodilla trees and met a little girl with a special doll who greeted her warmly.  The two girls played until dark when Chavela had to chew chicle to return home again.  Once she got home, her mother told her that she too knew of the magic, and showed her daughter the special doll she had had when she was a girl.

Brown’s prose reads aloud nicely and the story has plenty of action and interest to carry it along.  Children will love seeing where gum came from and will also enjoy the magic of the gum.  The real star of the book is the illustrations, done in candy-bright colors that also have a great depth to them.  The author’s note at the back offers more in-depth information on chicle and gum. 

A treat of a book that is nicely seasoned with Spanish, this book will appeal to candy-lovers of any language or background.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by TheHappyNappyBookseller.