Trouble gum

Matthew Cordell, 1975-

Book - 2009

Playing indoors with his little brother on a rainy day, a rambunctious young pig causes a ruckus and then breaks his mother's three chewing gum rules.

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Picture books
New York : Feiwel and Friends 2009.
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill. ; 29 cm
Main Author
Matthew Cordell, 1975- (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Cordell, illustrator for James Preller's Mighty Casey (2009), dons the author cap for the first time with this picture book. Staving off boredom during a dreary afternoon, pig siblings Ruben and Julius amuse themselves with bubble gum from Grammy. They don't normally get to chew gum because Mom thinks it just ends up making trouble. With infectious good cheer, Ruben proves Mom right time and again, accidentally swallowing one piece, getting another snarled up in a freshly knit blanket, and covering himself and his younger brother in sticky pink goo after blowing a massive bubble with a third. The simple story line and liberal use of white space open plenty of opportunities for Cordell's winsome art to generate laughs. Even better are the sound effects bouncing around each page, from the "smak smak smik smak" of chewing to the "shuff . . . uff . . . whuff" of bubble blowing. A few understated sibling notes sneak into the minimal presentation as well, making this book more than just a pure giggle-maker. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Working with a stripped-down palette of black, white, red and bubblegum pink, Cordell's (Mighty Casey) first solo effort evokes irrepressible boyhood with laughs throughout. Stir-crazy on a rainy day, older brother Ruben and his little brother, Julius, two piglets at loose ends, are given some gum by their Grammy, but not without a reminder from Mom about the bubblegum rules ("Don't swallow your gum. Don't play with your gum. And don't blow big, sticky bubbles with your gum"). Unsurprisingly, they can't resist the temptation to do all these things and more ("Fortunately, this wasn't the first piece of gum Ruben had gotten stuck in Mom's knitting," reads the text as spot art shows Ruben frantically tearing at a gum-smeared blanket. "He knew just what to do"). Dozens of Steig-like pen and ink drawings show the antics of the partners in crime and Ruben's attempts to educate Julius in the ways of acting like a "big pig." The picture of a loving, unpretentious family sustains the hilarity throughout, while creative onomatopoeia ("SMAK SMAK SMIK SMAK") provides yet more giggles. Ages 2–6. (Aug.) [Page 50]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 3—Ruben Figg is older brother pig to bespectacled Julius, and one rainy day he decides to show his sibling how the big pigs chew gum. Grammy provides the bubble gum while Mom reiterates the ground rules (chew it, don't play with it). After smacking the gum this way and that, Ruben accidentally swallows it and has to plead for a new piece. Grammy is happy to oblige while Mom halfheartedly agrees. Unfortunately, Ruben presses his luck and ends up getting a glob of gum stuck in a blanket Mom knitted. A repentant piglet is sent to his room, but the fun doesn't stop there because Julius sneaks more gum from Grammy's purse and the brothers wind up covered in sticky pink. Grammy and Mom scrub them clean, but there is still one last bubble blast in store. Humorous illustrations are best viewed one-on-one where the many mischievous details can be appreciated.—Lisa Glasscock, Columbine Public Library, Littleton, CO [Page 72]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a bored pig named Ruben gets his hands on a piece of gum one rainy day, chaos quickly ensues as the rather simple items is put to the test and used in many strange ways - resulting in wacky adventures and pigs taking flight!

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Playing indoors with his little brother on a rainy day, a rambunctious young pig causes a ruckus and then breaks his mother's three chewing gum rules.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

From Matthew Cordell, the author-illustrator of the Caldecott award-winning book Wolf in the Snow, comes this delightful picture book that's as charming as it is fun. It's raining. There's nothing to do. Ruben is bored. But things start looking up when his grandmother gives him and his little brother some gum. Gum is fun. There's just one problem with gum—it tends to make a mess!Uh-oh. . . .

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Two little pigs playing with their gum get in BIG trouble!