"...not a book that kids will merely like..."

I Like Gum is a rhyming picturebook recounting a young girl's likes and dislikes. The enthusiastic bordering on outrageous art emphasizes the sense of whimsy and pure fun that comes from the gleeful lyrics. "I like ice cream. / But not in the sun. And not on my shirt. / And not when it's done." A truly fun read-aloud book for parents and children, with simple text ideal for young people just learning how to sound out words on their own.

The only thing more enticing than the bright-eyed little girl blowing a gigantic Pepto-Bismol pink bubble-gum bubble that graces the cover of I Like Gum is the what's inside. The story is about an endearing little girl and her likes and dislikes-as they relate to the same items. By way of example, anyone can tell from the whimsical cover that the little girl loves gum, but this attraction disappears when the gum is under her shoe or stuck to her chair.

The little girl also likes her bicycle, but not when she falls, is too tired to pedal, or fastens her helmet too tightly. Ketchup is also a treat - as long as it is not in her peas, in her cereal, or on her macaroni and cheese. Playgrounds, swimming and balloons are her favorites, but they, too, each come with some conditions. Along the same lines, pizza is great (as long as it is plain), snow is a welcome sight (as long as it is not July), and play dates are fun as long as no one cries.

The text is simple and sweet, the illustrations are charming, and the book will make a great addition to any child's book collection. I Like Gum is not a book that kids will merely like, but one they will love as they devour it over and over and over again.

Midwest Book Review

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