Brian D. McClure's picture book, The Bubble, is about a little boy who doesn't want to share his toys or his space -- not even with his mother -- who grows up to accumulate many possessions. His love and attachment to these possessions takes over his life and prevents him from forming relationships. McClure shows what happens to him as his possessions slowly leave him.
The Bubble is geared toward children between the ages of 9 and 12, but as I read it with The Girl (age 9), it seemed a bit young for her. The simple sentences didn't excite her much, but she did enjoy Buddy Plumlee's vivid, colorful illustrations. Plumlee does a great job with facial expressions; you can see and almost feel the annoyance and (eventually) pain on the face of the boy and old man. The Bubble sends a good message to children that life is about the relationships you make -- not the things you accumulate. Many (if not all) children go through phases when they don't like to share their toys, want their parents to give them privacy, and beg their parents to buy them shiny new things (that most likely will be lost or broken shortly after being placed in their sticky, dirty hands). The Bubble would be a good way to introduce to young children that material things alone won't bring you happiness.
However, toward the end of the book when the old man's possessions begin to leave, things get a little weird. The Girl and I wondered what was going on, but I told her just to go with the flow and wait to see where the author was taking us. All is explained in the end, thankfully. While The Bubble isn't the kind of book The Girl would re-read -- she understood the story right away and wasn't up for discussing it afterward -- I think it would be a good book for parents to share with children around ages 5 to 7. I bet The Girl would have enjoyed it more at that age.
Here's what The Girl (age 9) had to say about The Bubble:
The Bubble is a good book, but it is not one of my favorites. The story got really random at the end. The rest of it was good, though.
Disclosure: We received a free copy of The Bubble from The Cadence Group for review purposes.
© 2010, Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not copy or reproduce content without permission.