cover image Gilbert's Gobstopper

Gilbert's Gobstopper

Mark Haddon, Haddon. Dial Books, $9.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-8037-0506-7

Gobstopper is British slang for an all-day jawbreaker that prevents speech, eating or almost any function using the mouth. This lively account of the adventures of a bright red gobstopper spans at least fifty years and possibly one or two galaxies. Rendered in technicolor, the craziness begins when Gilbert balances the candy on his nose and drops it down the sewer. The gobstopper frightens a couple of rats, hits the ocean floor, is eaten by an exotic fish that is caught by an unwitting fishermanand so on. Gilbert wonders about that gobstopper throughout his life. One day, it bounces through his window and hits him on the head. Gilbert, now a grandfather, thinks, ``I knew it would turn up eventually.'' Haddon's wonderful cartoon treatment is wild and free-flowing; he saturates each scene of this fast-paced adventure in rich color. Ages 4-8. (April)