Tuesday, February 15, 2011
POP! The Invention of Bubble Gum
McCarthy, Meghan. 2010. POP! THE INVENTION OF BUBBLE GUM. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 9781416979708 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-3]
Gum has been around for a long time, but it took accountant Walter Diemer many tries to create a gum that allowed the chewer to blow bubbles. His success eventually promoted him to vice president, although he never got rich. But he made many kids happy around the world.
McCarthy uses her trademark round eyes to create the cartoon-style illustrations that add detail to the book. Bright, bubble gum pink color enriches the pages and lets the reader celebrate the success of gum created for blowing bubbles. Dark-hued spreads contrast with light, bright pages throughout the book as the brief, narrative text relates the history and behind-the-scenes account of how bubble gum came to be.
Backmatter completes the book with gum facts, more about Walter Diemer, additional facts, and a detailed list of sources. This book is sure to appeal to kids of all ages.
This book makes a strong statement about persevering following a series of failures. Use a copy of Chris Barton’s THE DAY-GLO BROTHERS to compare the failures and successes of Joe and Bob Switzer to Walter Diemer. Lead a discussion about what it takes to be an inventor and how failure can lead to success. In small groups, ask the children to create a list of the characteristics of inventors and present their ideas in an interesting way.
Other books for children about inventors or inventions:
Thimmesh, Catherine. GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING: STORIES OF INGENIOUS INVENTIONS BY WOMEN. ISBN 9780618195633
Wulffson, Don L. THE KID WHO INVENTED THE POPSICLE: AND OTHER SURPRISING STORIES ABOUT INVENTIONS. ISBN 9780141302041
By Shirley S. Duke