Review by Ariadna Sánchez
in a dish
How many pieces do you wish?
Chewing chicle and blowing bubbles is one of my favorite’s hobbies. I love bubble gum but not as much as today’s character. Chavela and the magic bubble is written by the award-winning author Monica Brown and sweetly illustrated by Magaly Morales. Chavela chews gum all day long. She can chomp: pink, blue, orange, white, twisted rolls, gumballs, sour cherry, rainbow-colored, and even sugar-free chicle. Chavela is very good at blowing bubbles. She can blow big colorful bubbles shaped like balloons and tiny ones shaped like jellybeans. Chavela is a creative girl with a great imagination.
One day, Chavela’s abuelita shares stories about her hometown Playa del Carmen, the rainforest, the birds, and butterflies. Later, Chavela goes inside of a tiny corner store and an unusual package catches her attention. The package says Magic Chicle ‘Deep in the rainforest of Mexico there is a magical sapodilla tree.’ Her abuelita explains that gum is made from chicle, the sap of the sapodilla tree. She also mentions to Chavela that her great-grandfather was a chiclero (a person who takes care and harvests the sapodilla tree).
At home, Chavela opens the Magic Chicle and begins to chew piece by piece until nothing is left. Then she blows with all her might an enormous bubble that lifts her up into the sky. The wind is pushing her toward the rainforest, the land of the sapodilla trees. A girl holding a doll with a pretty blue dress greets Chavela and they begin to sing “Tengo una muñeca vestida de azul…” Chavela plays with the children under the shade of the sapodilla tree all day long. She is so tired by the afternoon that she falls asleep. As the moon rises, Chavela wakes up a little bit worried because she doesn’t know how to get back home. Suddenly, drops from the sapodilla tree fall on the tip of her nose. She realizes that by chewing and blowing with all her might, she will be able to return home. In a blink of an eye, Chavela is lift up to the sky heading north. Chavela’s abuelita is waiting for her with a smile and a pretty doll with a blue dress. Chavela’s trip and each piece of bubble gum is a connection with her cultural heritage. Remember that reading gives you wings!
To learn more about the harvesting process and the importance of sustainable farming practices visit http://www.gleegum.com/, the website of one of the few U.S manufactures of natural chewing gum. Also to learn more about rainforest and what you can do to help save then visit www.rainforestfoundation.org , www.savetherainforest.org and a Spanish link to read http://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/publicaciones/librosDig/pdf/VegetacionMxC12.pdf
If you want to listen to the entire song “Tengo una muñeca vestida de azul” click the following link: