On Account of the Gum

Chronicle. Oct. 2020. 56p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781452181547.
PreS-Gr 1–When a child goes to sleep with gum in their mouth, it seems inevitable that the gum will end up in their hair. The natural next step is to seek advice on how to remove the gum, from the Internet and family members, which proves to be disastrous. As objects accumulate in the child’s hair, they become more and more frustrated. To make matters worse, it is not only the child’s birthday but also school picture day! Like his other titles, such as Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, Rex serves a delightful and laugh-out-loud read. This interactive take is great for a read-aloud as the reader becomes the narrator and engages in dialogue with the protagonist. The timing is perfect, as the page turn lands the punchline. The illustrated facial expressions of the gender neutral, pink-skinned child perfectly reflect their growing annoyance and upset as a cat, noodles, and a vacuum end up on their head. The textured pictures pop from the page with vibrant colors, often a bright bubblegum pink background, and the endpapers offer a collage of bubble gum wrappers.
VERDICT A grand comedy that will engage readers and please Rex’s many fans.

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