The Gum-Chewing Rattler

Overview

Kids always want Joe Hayes to tell The Gum-Chewing Rattler. And why not? It combines so many things kids love to do—chew bubble gum, tell tall tales, and drive their moms crazy—with the wild, impossible claim that a rattlesnake chewed gum and blew a bubble with it!

You see, when Joe was a boy, that’s what he told his mother—that bubble gum saved him from a rattlesnake’s fangs! Really! Don’t worry—Joe’s mother didn’t believe him either.

In 2005,...

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Overview

Kids always want Joe Hayes to tell The Gum-Chewing Rattler. And why not? It combines so many things kids love to do—chew bubble gum, tell tall tales, and drive their moms crazy—with the wild, impossible claim that a rattlesnake chewed gum and blew a bubble with it!

You see, when Joe was a boy, that’s what he told his mother—that bubble gum saved him from a rattlesnake’s fangs! Really! Don’t worry—Joe’s mother didn’t believe him either.

In 2005, Joe Hayes received the Talking Leaves Award from the National Storytelling Network for his contributions to the literature of storytelling.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Hayes himself appears at the beginning and end, recalling to a small group of listeners how, as a lad, he changed his mother’s irritated tune about keeping bubblegum in his shirt pockets.…Castro exaggerates the expressions on his human characters and gives the rattler a fiercely intense air of menace for this brief and thoroughly believable (right?) tale." —Kirkus Reviews

"The large, two-page illustrations depict the exaggerations of this tall tale perfectly with varying perspectives on the child's encounter with the creature, bright shades of gold and turquoise, and an emphasis on pink (of course). Endpapers repeat the bold pink with splashes of a paler hue, framing a fun book for just about any kid; boys, especially, will love it." —School Library Journal

"An upbeat and playful story, perfectly accentuated by the wry yet realistic art." —Midwest Book Review

"Veteran storyteller Hayes masterfully spins a kid-pleasing tall-tale from the Arizona desert…A surefire storytime pleaser." —Children's Literature

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Veteran storyteller Hayes masterfully spins a kid-pleasing tall-tale from the Arizona desert. From the first line, "When I was a kid growing up in Arizona, I used to love to chew bubblegum," he shows his gift for connecting with young readers, who will completely accept his report of gum-inspired scoldings from a stern teacher and gum-caused laundry woes, and then—why not?—his story of how his trusty wad of bubblegum saved him from a rattlesnake: the snake's fangs get entangled in the gum and then the snake blows the world's biggest bubble which explodes in the world's biggest pop. Mexican artist Antonio Castro's hyper-realistic illustrations complement the text perfectly. Young Joe is depicted with such meticulous attention to detail, from the gum bulge in his cheek to the hole in the bottom of his boot, that the gum-chewing rattler seems just as convincing: if a snake did chew bubblegum, this would be exactly how he would look. A brief illustrator's note at the end shows how Castro uses models to achieve his realistic effects. A surefire storytime pleaser.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3
Hayes spins a yarn purportedly derived from his boyhood in a small town in Arizona. The story involves his penchant for chewing wads of bubblegum, his mother's exasperation with the resultant messes, and an encounter with an angry rattlesnake. The large, two-page illustrations depict the exaggerations of this tall tale perfectly with varying perspectives on the child's encounter with the creature, bright shades of gold and turquoise, and an emphasis on pink (of course). Endpapers repeat the bold pink with splashes of a paler hue, framing a fun book for just about any kid; boys, especially, will love it.
—Judith ConstantinidesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
An anecdote from the youth of a veteran Arizona storyteller makes its first separate appearance in print, matched to a Mexican artist's warmly humorous, photographically exact scenes. Hayes himself appears at beginning and end, recalling to a small group of listeners how, as a lad, he changed his mother's irritated tune about keeping bubblegum in his shirt pockets. It seems that one day he stepped on a rattler's tail, and when the snake whipped up to bite him, its fangs sank instead into a cache of gum. So big is the resulting bubble, that when it pops, the snake goes flying back and hits his head on a rock, knocking him out. Castro exaggerates the expressions on his human characters and gives the rattler a fiercely intense air of menace for this brief and thoroughly believable (right?) tale. (illustrator's note) (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933693194
  • Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 351,109
  • Age range: 5 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Joe Hayes is one of America's premier storytellers. He grew up in a small town in southern Arizona where he learned Spanish from his classmates. As he got older, Joe began gathering old stories from the Southwest. Joe has earned a distinctive role as a bilingual storyteller. Antonio Castro L. was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and has lived in the Juarez-El Paso area for most of his life. He has illustrated dozens of childrens' books including Pájaro Verde and Treasure on Gold Street.
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