Friday, July 9, 2010
Book Review - Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum
By Meghan McCarthy
Publisher - Simon and Schuster
Released May 4, 2010
Ages 4 to 8 (classroom use Grades 2nd to 4th)
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars
Gum has been around for centuries. The ancient Greeks chewed sap from mastic trees. The American Indians chewed spruce resin. Men in top hats and women in puffy dresses chewed gum to cure things like stomachaches. Gum wasn't that exciting. But what if gum chewers could blow bubbles while chewing it?
In the late 1920s a factory in Philadelphia was working on a top secret project. Month after month the workers experimented with different ingredients and formulas. And month after month all they had to show for their hard work was a big sticky mess. Would there be no bubble gum? Sometimes the best inventions come from the most unexpected places...
Full of fun historical facts, Pop! is the true story of how bubble gum was invented. (taken from GoodReads)
Over the past year, I have been working to expand my knowledge of non-fiction picture books and I have been excited about what I have discovered. Non-fiction picture books with engaging text, outstanding illustrations, and solid facts. Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy fulfills all my requirements for a top-notch book and one that I can't wait to share with my students.
McCarthy starts off with a brief history of chewing gum but quickly moves into how bubble gum was invented. She shares with her readers about Walter Diemer's repeated attempts to create a gum that not only you could chew but also create bubbles. McCarthy shares about Diemer's mistakes and near misses leading up to when he finally discovered just the right formula that would make the perfect bubble. The illustrations are bright, colorful and with just enough animation to keep the book fun but not go over the top. The two pages of detailed facts provided at the end of the book allow teachers to supplement the story.
This is a book that is not only fun to read, but great to have in both your personal collection and in your classroom collection.