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The single most significant factor influencing a child's early educational success is an introduction to books and bei... More

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Author: Joe Hayes

Illustrator: Antonio Castro L

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Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press,

Material: paperback

Summary: When our narrator was a kid, he loved to chew bubblegum. Wherever he was, whatever he was doing, he had gum. Even when his teachers told him to spit it out, he had backup bubblegum. There was just one problem: when he forgot to take it out of his shirt, it messed up the laundry! His mom used to get angry, until one day she found him laying on the desert floor ... next to a rattlesnake with gum on his face. How did THAT happen? This is a story with the feel of a classic fable.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.7

Age of Child: Read with an 8-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: Our daughter picked this out because she thought it was funny that we had two books about chewing gum. She picked this one second because the snake on the cover scared her. She was glued on the story from the minute we opened the book ... counting the pieces of gum in our narrator's mouth, checking out the snake's teeth. After we finished reading, she wanted to go back and look at it again.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a great story. You are left in a quandry at the end: did it really happen? The illustrations are incredibly lifelike, and when you read the illustrator information in the back, it is easy to see why.

Pros: Whether you're just looking for a fun story or a tall tale, this is a book that should be on your short list. Kids - especially boys - will love this one!

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a story that you'll enjoy together for a long time. The ending is such that you might change your mind every time you read it.


Educational Themes: This is a great story for talking about the genres of storytelling, folktales, and tall tales. The illustrator information in the back is also great for explaining how images are made. It's a project kids might like to do themselves.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, fables and folklore

Date(s) Reviewed: August 2010

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