Salmieri's colored pen-and-ink pictures look as if they've been cut out and pasted onto the dark backgrounds, together giving the story a very modern edge. His monsters manage to seem credibly threatening…while being completely childish about what the narrator reassures them is "just a thin layer of soap and water wrapped around a ball of air"…
Big Bad Bubble might help kids get a bit of perspective on their own fears, and should certainly make them laugh at bedtimethat moment when the monstersor whatever lurks under their particular bedsstart to worry them.
The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
In this outing from the team behind Dragons Love Tacos and the Those Darn Squirrels books, lumpy, hairy monsters learn to handle their terror of bubbles, delivering a rollicking (but rational) examination of fear vs. reality. Wait—terror of bubbles? Well, yes. Mogo, an attention-loving monster, has been spreading misinformation about how bloodthirsty bubbles are. “Summer is the worst time for bubbles,” he says knowledgeably. “That’s when they go into a feeding frenzy.” Rubin’s voice-over narrator counsels Yerburt, Froofle, and Wumpus through their anxiety, coaching them, therapist-style, through their first encounter with actual bubbles: “Froofle, climb down from that tree. Look at your claws. You have pointy claws.” “Go on, Wumpus. You can do it.” Wumpus has big horns, and the bubble explodes as he summons his courage and pops it: “Kaboom!” Salmieri’s pen-and-ink lines give unexpected delicacy to the story; the monsters’ furry coats, painted in warm shades of gold, yellow, and red, stand out theatrically against the black backdrops. Whether readers will take the hint about unreasonable fears, they’ll be back for giggle-fueled rereadings. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)
* "Rubin's voice-over narrator counsels Yerburt, Froofle, and Wumpus through their anxiety, coaching them, therapist-style, through their first encounter with actual bubbles. Salmieri's pen-and-ink lines give unexpected delicacy to the story [and] readers will take the hint about unreasonable fears, they’ll be back for giggle-fueled rereadings."
--Publisher's Weekly, starred review
"The fearful Wild Thing–like monsters are comically depicted, and their problems are resolved with perfect pacing."
--School Library Journal
"Funny words and pictures combine to delight . . . this amusing romp will encourage young readers to put their own fears in perspective."
--The Wall Street Journal
"Big Bad Bubble might help kids get a bit of perspective on their own fears, and should certainly make them laugh at bedtime — that moment when the monsters — or whatever lurks under their particular beds — start to worry them." --The New York Times
K-Gr 2—Due to a long-ago mishap with gum, Mogo convinces his fellow wacky monsters living in the darkness of La La Land that bubbles that pop in from the human world are treacherous. According to Mogo, bubbles are sneaky and travel in packs and that in summer, they "go into a feeding frenzy." Luckily, the narrator convinces Yerburt, Froofle, Wumpus, and Mogo to use their fangs, claws, and horns to dispatch the threatening orbs. They celebrate by chewing bubble gum, popping bubble wrap, and taking a bubble bath. With one crisis averted, troublemaking Mogo debuts his book The Truth About Butterflies. Salmieri's cartoon figures in watercolor, pen, and ink burst across murky backgrounds that mix the fanciful and the bizarre. The fearful Wild Thing—like monsters are comically depicted, and their problems are resolved with perfect pacing. This pair also collaborated on three "Those Darn Squirrels" (Clarion) books and will gain even more fans with this book.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
La La Land is populated by scaredy-cat monsters. According to the narrator, when bubbles pop, they reappear in La La Land, home of some remarkably uninspired-looking (and -named) monsters. Monsters who are terrified of bubbles. A bubble-gum bubble once popped on the face of a monster named Mogo, and his subsequent fright is the rather weak basis for the collective monster bubblephobia. As Mogo attempts to spread comical misinformation about bubbles, the narrator (who speaks to both the characters and readers) instructs readers to ignore him. A pace-crushing spread of haphazard facts about La La Land comes across as filler to bring this very slight effort up to 32 pages. In the end, the narrator convinces the monsters to face their fears using their fearsome physical qualities. Salmieri does his best, placing hairy, toothy monsters against a black background; a monster called Wumpus looks a little like Sendak's horned Wild Thing. The final illustration, with the three smaller monsters astride their larger friend fleeing in apparent terror from a monarch butterfly, may be the funniest part of this book. The book's potential utility in helping children cope with irrational fears is undermined by its absence of a credible story. (Picture book. 4-7)