Bubble Trouble

Written by Margaret Mahy
Illustrated by Polly Dunbar

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What would you do if someone you loved was trapped in a free-flying bubble? Answering that question in response to reading Bubble Trouble sparks’ any student’s imagination!

This book – especially the Big Book edition – is a beloved read-aloud; Margarety Mahy’s laborious development of this rhythmic, alliterative book has paid off in dividends. An instant classic, this book twists the tongue and challenges readers’ fluency skills as they read aloud phrases like, “At the shops, a busy rabble, met to gossip and to gabble, started gibbering and goggling as the bubble bobbled by.”

The illustrations and text are simply beautiful, so it’s no wonder this book was awarded “Best Picture Book” by Boston Globe’s Horn Book Award. A second grade or third grade class would no doubt have fun reading this tale, and an art project to use as an extension with this book would be bubble painting. Instructions for bubble painting can be found at http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/bubble_painting.htm. As a process art project, students may draw on top of the dried bubble paint one of the scenes from “Bubble Trouble” or any other problem they can imagine involving a bubble gone awry.

To test students’ comprehension, students may be asked to fill out a basic plot outline including, character list (as many as students can remember), setting, problem of the story, and resolution. As a class project, teachers may lead students in creating a poster-size plot diagram of Bubble Trouble, including the climax and characters along the rising action. For a simple diagram suitable for third grade through fifth grade students, visit http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/plot-diagram-30040.html?tab=3.

This whimsically illustrated book is a necessary addition to any class or home library.

  • Bubble TroubleTitle: Bubble Trouble
  • Author: Margaret Mahy
  • Illustrator: Polly Dunbar
  • Publisher: Sandpiper/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Reviewer: Sharon Schulte
  • Big Book (Oversize Paperback), 33 pages
  • Big Book ISBN: 978-0-547-85058-0
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-547-07421-4
  • Board Book ISBN: 978-0-547-50725-5
  • Genre: fiction/family
  • Lexile: AD1240

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