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Bubble Bubble – Mercer Mayer

Bubble Bubble Mercer Mayer 1-57768-348-X

Bubble Bubble by Mercer Meyer 2003 Gingham Dog Press

Bubble Bubble has been one of my kids favorites.  I would say the best age for this book is as early as one years old and then again for early readers.   There aren’t a ton of words in this book, in fact the first edition did not have any text to it.  That should tell you just how expressive and interesting the pictures are to this book.  My then 4-year old daughter had the whole thing memorized and liked “reading” it to me.

bubble-buy

Bubble Bubble- Buying the “Magic Bubbles” Mercer Meyer- Gingham Dog Press

The story is pretty simple,  A little boy buys a Magic Bubble maker and blows some animal shaped bubbles.  Some of them are kind of freaky like a snake, but he then blows a bubble shaped like a cat to get the mean snake, but then…

The cat turns into a large cat and is going to attack us.  Quickly, he blows another bubble. “And that took care of that”. After this same pattern a number of times, our little boy gets tired, and decides to pop all the bubbles.

Spoiler Alert:  This is the last gorgeous page:

Bubblebubble

There is a repetitive pattern in this book where a cute animal bubble appears, but then attacks so we blow another animal to get that animal that kids love.  Seriously, even my 2 year old loves this book. I think because she knows what’s going to happen.  The pages are bright and there are tons of details to see.   Now for the bad news- this book is out of print!  I managed to find a hardback copy to save on my special shelf for a good deal and read a paperback one to my daughters.  Selfish, I know, but I don’t want to give this book up now. It has too many memories for us.

  • Author: Mercer Mayer
  • Illustrator: Mercer Mayer
  • ISBN: 1-57768-348-X
  • Publisher: Gingham Dog Press
  • Copyright: 1973 and 2003

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Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo – Mercer Mayer

cover image of Professor Wormbog  9781607467656

Professor Wormbog By Mercer Mayer 9781607467656

Not to oversell this one, but it is seriously one of my all-time favorite books.  It’s been around long enough that it could have been a childhood favorite of mine, but I didn’t discover it until a few years ago.  This is the same author/illustrator of the “Little Critter” books, but I like these even more.

Professor Wormbog in Search of the Zipperump-a-Zoo is funny and fun with a surprise ending.  Spoiler alert: I will be telling you the surprise in the last paragraph but don’t worry, the pictures are fun to look at and I still find new things when I read it because there is a lot to see in this book. Professor Wormbog collects beasties.  He has a wonderful collection of all the rare beasties from A-Y and is missing his letter Z, the elusive Zipperump-a-zoo!  He needs his Z animal so being the great animal hunter he is, he decides to catch one.

Professor Wormbog 9781607467656

Professor Wormbog’s Beastie Collection. Mercer Meyer

He tries every trick he knows, from traveling across the ocean, into deep dark caves, and even disguising himself as a feathered Croonie to see if Zipperump-a-Zoo’s fly through the air.  Alas, he cannot find it.   After a few close calls, and many animal catchings and releasing later, our poor professor calls it quits and goes home.  Exhausted and kinda sad, he falls asleep in his recliner in defeat.

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Uh-Oh! That’s not a Zipperump-a-Zoo! it’s a Blowfat-glowfish!

Our poor professor will just have to learn to be okay with his A through Y collection of rare animals.  The funny part that kids love is, as he is sleeping, his room becomes filled with little Zipperump-A-Zoos dancing and playing right in front of his sleeping nose. My daughters laugh almost every time at this, and like to make sound effects for each of the zipperump-a’s in the room. (There’s 13)  I have good news , this book is still in print and not too hard to find.  Definitely check it out at the library, or buy yourself a copy because it’s pretty fun for everyone.

  • Author: Mercer Mayer
  • Illustrator: Mercer Mayer
  • ISBN: 9781607467656
  • Publisher: FastPencil PREMIERE
  • Copyright: 1979 and 2011

Amazon link: Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo (Classic Collectible Series)

Disclaimer: I purchased this book with my own money.  I am hunting for a low priced 1979 version because that would be fun to own, but am happy with my copy here.

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The Lady & The Lion – Laurel Long & Jacqueline K. Ogburn

If you are llady and the lionooking for an illustrator that will take your breath away, Laurel Long is it. Combine that with my favorite fairy tale- Beauty and the Beast, and you have a surefire winner.  “The Lady and the Lion” uniquely mixes story elements from “East of the Sun, West of the Moon” with  “Beauty and the Beast” for an action packed story boys and girls both should love.

Summary:  A merchant unknowingly steals a singing Lark from a ferocious lion’s garden. In exchange for his life and the bird, he agrees to give the lion whatever greets him first as he returns home.  Unfortunately, it is his youngest daughter who races out to see him and he then must take her to the lion’s house.  As any father would, he tries to talk her out of going, but she is brave and wants to keep her father’s word so she goes.

The lady and the lion from Laurel Long’s website. Laurellong.com

It turns out, the Lion isn’t all he seems, every night he and all his castle inhabitants turn back into their human form.  And what a beautiful prince he is!  They quickly fall in love and are happily married.  Unfortunately, there is another part to the curse, if any candlelight should touch his human form, he will turn into a dove for seven years, forced to roam the earth and never rest.

Well, accidents happen, and her wonderful half lion, half man husband is turned into a dove!  Our lady heroine  hunts the earth looking for her lost love, asking the help of the sun, moon and the North wind.    Our Lady helps battles an evil dragon/sorceress but evil escapes with her husband to a wicked castle.   Using the gifts from the sun and moon our lady breaks in and rescues her prince, riding the world of the evil enchantress and living happily ever after of course.

Lady and the lion against the dragon. From laurel Long’s website laurellong.com

Review:  The pictures alone make this story worth having, but I love that we have a strong heroine who loves her father too much to let him break his word to a lion.  (not a safe idea)  She is faithful and searches out her husband to the ends of the earth.  Don’t worry guys,  the Lion doesn’t just sit back and wait for his lady to rescue him, he battles the dragon fiercely in his lion form.  The lady and he work together in the end to defeat their enemy.  Now for some bad news.   This book is sadly out of print. Not only that, but I am not the only one who loves it.  So, if you have to have it in your collection (and I tend to think you do) you aren’t going to get it cheaply.  Even finding a copy at the local library is going to require patience and a wait list.  I snagged my copy from ebay I think.  This book is definitely a valuable favorite of mine and worth extra money.

  • Author: Laurel Long & Jacqueline K. Ogburn
  • Illustrator: Laurel Long
  • ISBN: 0-8037-2651-1
  • Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
  • copyright: 2003

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Fairy Wings – Lauren Mills & Dennis Nolan

This book right here is one everyone should own. I stumbled upon this gem (which is out of print, so find yourself a copy asap) through a list on Goodreads for “Gorgeously illustrated Fairy Tales”  and Gorgeous it is!

fairy wings cover

Shiny golden letters dress up this dust jacket showing Fia and Kip dancing.

Summary:  I will admit right now, I read this book sometimes when my kids are nowhere around. It’s stunning, and the story is touching. Fia, our heroine, happens to be the only fairy around without wings.  Because of this, she has no fairy friends, and her seven other sisters are embarrassed of her.  Fia plays with a frog, a rat and a crow and that simply isn’t done!  Because she is wing-less she also does things other fairy-kind wouldn’t dream of doing, like paddling around the river in a goose’s egg.  It turns out, she befriends a fairy  boy named Kip doing just this and they are fast friends.  He invites her to the May Dance and she just might work up the courage to go with him.

Fia and Father

“I have eight beautiful daughters… “might be my favorite line in the whole book. (yeah, I am a mom and I love my two very different girls like crazy, so this hits home for the parent. I’m pretty sure my kids have never given it a second thought.)

There is more drama than just the wingless, ugly duckling kind. You see, there is a Troll lurking about the woods and the May Dance just might be the perfect time for said troll to snatch up all the fairy people!  Perhaps Fia and her land-dwelling friends might be perfect to save them?  Don’t forget,  there’s also an adorable love story thrown in too.

fairy wings troll

Every good Fairy tale should have something creepy in it. This certainly fits that bill! Yes, those are tiny feet and hands sticking out of the net!

Review: Beautiful illustrations aside, this book isn’t just fluff to fill our kids heads like so much of the princess culture tends to offer us.  Fia is different, brave and kind.  She doesn’t wait around for a man to save her, but when a boy befriends her and actually loves her- it’s very touching.  I like Fia also because she is friends with unlovable creatures- not just the animals, but the Woodkins too (funny looking tiny land people). Her parents aren’t cruel, they love her desperately and support her throughout, a message which I enjoy reading to my kids all day long.  As far as fairy tale books, this one is one of my favorites.  Hopefully I have talked you into the wonderful book that this is.

  • Author: Lauren Mills
  • Illustrator: Lauren Mills & Dennis Nolan
  • ISBN: 0-316-57397-3
  • Publisher:  Little, Brown & Company
  • Copyright: 1995

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Disclaimer:  I purchased this book with my own money (though I did not pay nearly enough for it!) I emailed the author to ask permission for the review and she said yes! (good thing too, She has more books I want to review!)