From the Publisher
“Packs plenty of pop.” Kirkus 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.” Publishers Weekly
“Irresistible…graphically dynamic.” San Francisco Chronicle
“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.” Booklist
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.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
On a boring rainy day, Ruben's grandmother gives him and his little brother, Julius, something they usually are not allowed: gum! Despite all the rules his mother sets, Ruben, a pig very like a kid, has a wonderful time with the gum. He chews it noisily, in many positions, across many otherwise empty pages. He stretches it until it snaps, all over his mother's blanket. He then sneaks some more and demonstrates bubble blowing, until a huge bubble breaks all over everything, and the kids end up in the tub. When grandma leaves, however, some gum falls from her purse, and it is Julius who makes the biggest pops of all. This very simple tale of fun is visualized in line drawings with touches of watercolors. A few props here and there add context, but mainly the story focuses on portraying the pigs as typical kids in action and, of course, the versatile gum. The huge bubble on the jacket alongside the two tiny pigs predicts the trouble inside, while sound effects in various type faces add significantly to the fun. Do not miss the contrasting end pages. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
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
Despite Mom's sage warnings, piglet Ruben and his little brother Julius wreak havoc with multiple sticks of gum (first proffered by, then filched from Grammy) and a newly knit blanket. Ruben's purposeful instruction sticks ("This is how the big pigs stretch a piece of gum, Julius"): Even after the boys' de-gumming bath, it's Julius who provides both the ultimate laugh and the biggest bubble by far. Cordell mingles retro elements effectively, with a three-color palette of gray, pig-pink and red text typeset in Century Schoolhouse (think Dick and Jane) and myriad ink-and-wash spots that channel Steig, big time. These vignettes are offset by genuinely funny sound effects-"crinkle wrackle crackle" yields to "smik smak smak," which leads inevitably to "stuuuurch . . . " The display type in many sizes fills copious white space-in fact, the generous 48-page layout is a bit of a stretch for this tale. There's much detail to pore and giggle over, though, and the endpapers-front ones sporting bubbles blown to enormous size then bursting impressively in the back-are a hoot. Packs plenty of pop. (Picture book. 3-6)
Read an Excerpt
“I accidentally swallowed my gum. Can I have another piece?” Ruben asked.
“I’m sorry, Ruben,” Mom said. “Unlike Julius, you’ve already broken the rules. No more gum for you today.”