Review Blog

Sep 04 2014

Bubble trouble by Tom Percival

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Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408838778.
(Age: 3-7) Lift the flap book. Picture book. Friendship. When two friends decide to have a bubble blowing competition, trouble follows as they try to outdo each other, making machines to help them blow the biggest bubble ever. The story begins by showing them as best friends: they are the same age and height, live next door to each other and love blowing bubbles. The similarities will enthuse younger readers as they relate their similarities with their friends and recognise the things they do together. But in making a competition between the two friends, trouble ensues as the machines get more elaborate, ending with an explosion. Along the way small children will love opening the bubbles on each page to follow the story, the flaps adding a fun level of interest in the story. The amusing illustrations too will add to the excitement of the story as the friends come to realise that perhaps friendship is more important than competition, as they get all their friends together to have one big blow to make a bubble which outshines everything else.
And all is forgiven between the two as they realise that doing things together is more important, until one says 'I can jump higher than you'.
A funny, fast paced story with marvelous eye popping illustrations, this story will be a treat in early childhood classes or at home, where friendship is being discussed. Teachers and parents alike will be able to use the story to defuse some antagonism between friends, developing the idea that working together is more fun and certainly more satisfying than competing. Themes of winning and cooperation, machines and bubble making could all be developed using this book.
Fran Knight

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