Chews Your Destiny

Rhode Montijo, Author
Rhode Montijo. Disney-Hyperion, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-4231-5740-3
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-1-4231-5794-6
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Mighty-Mega Ultra-Stretchy Super-Duper Extenda-Bubble Bubble Gum might sound a little over the top, but it’s Gabby Gomez’s favorite—she chews it constantly. After a series of catastrophes and a peanut-butter hair treatment, though, Gabby’s mother forbids gum outright. Driven to deceit, Gabby has a freak accident that turns her into a gum-based superhero, able to use her sticky powers to rescue snatched purses and retrieve dropped keys from storm drains. Tension builds as Mrs. Gomez comes perilously close to discovering Gabby’s secret gum-chewing life (signaled by the “DUN! DUN! DUN!” of impending doom). Stripped-down, stylized (and bubblegum-pink) cartoons take prominence in this funny first book in the Gum Girl series, allowing Montijo (The Halloween Kid) to depict action and signal emotions clearly. He concentrates on Gabby’s inner struggle, following her step by sticky step back to a law-abiding childhood (“Mom would be so proud of what I just did.... But I can’t even tell her. And it’s all because I haven’t been telling her the truth”). The Spanish-language endearments Gabby trades with her mother deepen the sense of the affection they share. Ages 4–8. (June)
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