cover image Big Bad Bubble

Big Bad Bubble

Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. HMH/Clarion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-04549-1

In this outing from the team behind Dragons Love Tacos and the Those Darn Squirrels books, lumpy, hairy monsters learn to handle their terror of bubbles, delivering a rollicking (but rational) examination of fear vs. reality. Wait—terror of bubbles? Well, yes. Mogo, an attention-loving monster, has been spreading misinformation about how bloodthirsty bubbles are. “Summer is the worst time for bubbles,” he says knowledgeably. “That’s when they go into a feeding frenzy.” Rubin’s voice-over narrator counsels Yerburt, Froofle, and Wumpus through their anxiety, coaching them, therapist-style, through their first encounter with actual bubbles: “Froofle, climb down from that tree. Look at your claws. You have pointy claws.” “Go on, Wumpus. You can do it.” Wumpus has big horns, and the bubble explodes as he summons his courage and pops it: “Kaboom!” Salmieri’s pen-and-ink lines give unexpected delicacy to the story; the monsters’ furry coats, painted in warm shades of gold, yellow, and red, stand out theatrically against the black backdrops. Whether readers will take the hint about unreasonable fears, they’ll be back for giggle-fueled rereadings. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (May)