Blueberry Bubble Gum by Mahamad Ali Elfakir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What could possibly go wrong when Max's dad gives him a bag of magical bubble gum? Max tries hard to resist its temptation until his dad can read him the instructions, but then his dad is called into work Max is sent to bed without even one taste. The smell of the gum is so overwhelming that Max has to try one. When his mother comes in to say goodnight she asks him if he broke his promise not to eat any gum. Max lies to her, and this causes the magical gum to sour in his stomach. What happens next is a bubble gum ride of a lifetime. On this journey Max learns some powerful life lessons about lying and breaking promises.
Would I recommend this book? Yes, to younger readers only. Here is why: when I first read this book something did not sit right with me, but I could not put my finger on it so I read it to my four children. My sons ages nine and seven really liked it, understood the moral of the story, and the bad guys reminded them of cartoon villains. My daughters, ages twelve and fourteen came to the same conclusion I did, something important was missing. We discussed it and figured out what it was. Max is missing a baseline. When some on takes a lie detector test the technician asks them questions they know are true, such as “is your hair brown” or “are your eyes blue”. They do this so they have a baseline to tell when the person is lying or not. In this book, the author just tells us that the boy is a chronic liar without giving any prior examples. This fact detracts from the rest of the story, in my opinion. If they want to reach a broader audience I would recommend that the author write a preface to the current book or a prequel that expands on the character's chronic lying habit, so the revelation that lying is not right is more profound at the end of this book. In conclusion this is a cute book with fantastic illustrations and a good moral lesson. Younger children will find it very enjoyable.
**I received an ARC in return for an honest review**
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