Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Bubble Trouble

Something sweetly silly today; Margaret Mahy and Polly Dunbar's 'Bubble Trouble', the story of Baby trapped in a bubble blown by his sister Mabel, who floats down the street and up into the sky.

I shouldn't like this book by my own arbitrary rules as it contains a long increasing chase sequence of neighbours (which I normally find a little tiresome) and a tongue-twisting rhyme sequence (which I normally find a lot tiresome). I will mutter, with my eyes downcast and my mouth hidden in my jumper, that I am not a massive Dr Seuss fan. What? Sacrilege!
I mean, I admire him  and goodness only knows given the crimes that have been committed before and since in the name of  learn-to-read books he's a SAINT but I don't enjoy reading his books out loud that much. They go on a bit I find. sorry. (*which is not to say that I don't appreciate the incredible skill in them for children to master reading them themselves- I realise I am unfairly comparing apples and pears here.)(maybe I shouldn't bring him up at all.) (shall I stop writing things in brackets now?)

'Bubble Trouble' goes on  a lot but somehow remains intensely enjoyable to read. It's probably pure intellectual snobbery on my part. I'm a sucker for books that combine silliness and long words together pleasingly. Brain stretching for reader and listener but fun. To whit:

'In her garden, Chrysta Gribble had begun to cry and cavil
At her lazy brother, Greville, reading novels in his bed.
But she bellowed,
"Gracious, Greville!"
and she grovelled on the gravel,
When the baby in the bubble
bibble-bobbled overhead.'

This is Gerald Manley Hopkins for the under sevens. Wonderful.

I probably also like it because a game of Scrabble plays an integral role which is also a *small* obsession of mine.

Polly Dunbar's illustrations are both warm and wild, combining crayon, collage and watercolour to complement the crazy rhyme. She paints a nice line in cerise pink, mustard yellow and  soft teal  shoes and boots that I covet; normally teamed with some fine spotty or stripy tights. One probably shouldn't look to children's literature for style advice but sometimes, y'know, it might work.
I've just joined Pinterest- hmm, I see my first board emerging.

'Bubble Trouble' written Margaret Mahy, illus. Polly Dunbar, pub. Frances Lincoln,
isbn 978-1-84507-757-7

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