Chavela and the Magic Bubble

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Overview

Chavela loves chomping chicle—chewing gum. And she loves blowing bubbles even more. One day, while out with her abuelita, she finds a mysterious kind of gum she’s never seen before. She pops it in her mouth and blows a giant bubble that lifts her up into the air and carries her on a magical journey.

Luscious, candy-colored paintings illustrate this fantastical story with an ecological twist. An afterword provides information on natural chewing gum, the rainforest, and ...

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Chavela and the Magic Bubble

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Overview

Chavela loves chomping chicle—chewing gum. And she loves blowing bubbles even more. One day, while out with her abuelita, she finds a mysterious kind of gum she’s never seen before. She pops it in her mouth and blows a giant bubble that lifts her up into the air and carries her on a magical journey.

Luscious, candy-colored paintings illustrate this fantastical story with an ecological twist. An afterword provides information on natural chewing gum, the rainforest, and sustainable farming, as well as music to a traditional Latin American folksong.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chavela, who loves chewing gum, buys a pack of “Magic Chicle,” and the enormous pink bubble she blows propels her over the jungles of the Yucatán. “Down below, chicleros were making zigzag cuts in the tree trunks and collecting the dripping chicle in bag sacks.” Chavela lands on a “magic” sapodilla tree where she meets another girl; after her flight home, Chavela learns that the girl was in fact her own abuelita as a child. It's a somewhat opaque story, though Morales's luminous acrylics in rich, candy hues infuse it with a homespun magic. Ages 3-7. (May)
From the Publisher
"Magic realism blends with rain-forest conservation in this picture book about a young Latina girl who travels, across time and space, from the U.S. to Mexico at the time when her grandmother grew up there...Kids will want to chew their own bubblegum as they listen to this exciting magical journey, handsomely illustrated in brilliantly colored double-page spreads."—Booklist

"Chavela, who loves chewing gum, buys a pack of "Magic Chicle," and the enormous pink bubble she blows propels her over the jungles of the Yucatan...Morales's luminous acrylics in rich, candy hues infuse it with a homespun magic."—Publishers Weekly 

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Chavela loves to chew all kinds of chewing gum, and she is adept at blowing all sorts of bubbles. She enjoys spending time with her grandmother, who tells her stories of her youth in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. One day, Chavela finds a gum called Magic Chicle. She chews it and blows a special bubble; in the process, she discovers its magic as the bubble carries her to Mexico. There, she sees the chicleros collecting the sap from the sapodilla trees. It will later be made into chewing gum. Then, she meets a girl with a doll in a blue dress. They play and sing together until Chavela is tired and falls asleep. When she wakes up alone, she has no more magic gum, but she realizes that she can chew chicle from the tree and make another bubble to get back home. There, magically, her grandmother greets her with a doll dressed in blue "like the magic of the sapodilla tree." Chavela, a charming, chubby, tan girl inhabits a dreamy world where she crosses rolling hills on double-page spreads echoing the softness of the bubbles she blows. Acrylic paints in intense colors create the world of her grandmother's childhood as echoed in her magical adventure. Touches of Mexican folk art dot the pages. Spanish words highlighted in a different typeface and colors are understandable within the story's context. The song Chavela sings with her friend, a traditional Latin American folk song, is included with musical notation at the end, along with a note from the author about rainforests and the harvesting of chicle. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—When bubble-gum-loving Chavela finds a package of Magic Chicle at her corner store, she can't wait to chomp it. The little girl is delightfully surprised when it makes a giant bubble that carries her across California, Arizona, and Texas to the Yucatán, where she learns how the sap, or chicle, from sapodilla trees becomes her beloved bubble gum. An author's note describes how chicle harvesting has declined since gum manufacturers started using synthetic ingredients. It also explains how sapodilla trees grow in disappearing rain forests and provides Web sites where children can learn more about rain forest preservation and sustainable farming. By confining these environmental messages to her note, Brown creates a charming story that celebrates the joys of gum chewing, and of natural beauty, without becoming didactic. The text is full of strong verbs, such as "swooped," "popped," and "chomped," which underscore the energetic glee of childhood. Clever fonts also enhance the text. Spanish words appear in different typefaces and colors. Meanwhile, Morales's bright candy colors perfectly evoke chewing gum's various and vivid hues. Luminescent pinks and oranges are the dominant colors, further enhancing the story's joyful tone. The illustrative details also underscore the child's Mexican-American heritage. For example, there is corn drying in the kitchen, and traditional embroidery on Abuelita's dress. Children of all backgrounds will enjoy her adventures.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY
Kirkus Reviews
Chavela's joy is to chew all kind of gums. She loves blowing bubbles in different shapes and colors. One day, Chavela and her grandmother find a special gum at a small store in Market Street: Magic Chicle. When Chavela gets home, she chews her magic gum and, taking a deep breath, blows an enormous bubble that lifts her from the floor and carries her through the sky from the mountains of California and over the Southwest to her Abuelita's town, Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Chavela alights in a rainforest where the chicleros are making the magic gum from the sapodilla tree. It's a lovely, child-friendly tale that will entertain the little ones as well as exposing them to both ecological and cultural themes. The text and book design make it an excellent selection for storytime. Unfortunately, Morales (A Pinata in a Pine Tree, 2009, etc.) repeats the same facial features, clothing style and range of colors used in her prior works, generalizing the story's pleasing geographical specificity. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780547241975
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/15/2010
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Monica Brown is author of several award-winning bilingual books inspired by her Peruvian-American heritage and is a frequent conference speaker. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is an Assoc. Professor of English at NAU, specializing in U.S. Latino and Multicultural Literature. You can learn more about her at www.monicabrown.net.


Magaly Morales's first book for Clarion was A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora (Fall 2009). She also is the illustrator of What Can You Do with a Paleta?, and is sister to the acclaimed artist Yuyi Morales. She lives in Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2013

    Not bad

    Its not the best book but its a good book to read!

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