This smik-smacking new picture book perfectly captures the wondrous allure of gum, especially on a boring, rainy day. Ruben, a small pig wearing a red cape, is quite bored, staring out the window while his mother knits and his Grammy has tea. He tries to play nicely with his little pig brother Julius, but he can’t seem to be quiet enough. Then Grammy decides to give them each a piece of gum. “SMAK SMAK SMIK SMAK SMAK SMIK SMAK.” Mom reminds Ruben and Julius of the rules for chewing gum, but after a while, it’s just hard to have fun with gum without bending some of the rules. Matthew Cordell’s simple illustrations provide plenty of suspense as Ruben plays with his gum and eventually gets everything sticky. Sound effects enhance each moment, as Ruben opens his gum (“crinkle, wrackle, crackle”), stretches it apart (“Stuuurch…Stuuurrrch…SNAP!), and blows enormous bubbles (“Shuff….Uff…Whuff”), ending with a “POP!” that takes up nearly a whole page. Kids will giggle their way through the story and will be wishing for a packages of gum in their stockings.
Reviewed by Jennifer
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