________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 13 . . . . February 16, 2007


Bubba Begonia, You’ll Be Sorry!

Gerry O’Brien. Illustrated by Brenda Jones.
Charlottetown, PEI: Acorn Press, 2006.
76 pp., pbk., $7.95.
ISBN 1-894838-23-8.

Subject Headings:
First day of school-Juvenile fiction.
Teasing-Juvenile fiction.
Nose-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Lisa O'Hara.

**** /4

Bubba Begonia, You'll Be Sorry! has everything kids in this age group could want - funny characters with silly names, a "gross" situation and a fast-moving plot. Bubba is about to start his first day at a new school and is worried that he'll earn the same nickname at this school that he carried at the old one: "Nose Jockey." Bubba has a terrible habit of sticking his finger up his nose when he gets nervous, and no matter what he tries or how much his mom warns him that one day that finger will get stuck in there, he just can't seem to break the habit. He'd like a new start at the new school and a chance to be a cool kid rather than a nose jockey, but his finger just won't cooperate.

     When he arrives at the school, he finds a class full of characters with funny names, including his teacher, Miss Pimple, who is even more beautiful than Barbie. As the teacher asks the kids to introduce themselves, Bubba finds himself getting more and more nervous. Sure enough, when his turn comes, Bubba's finger is firmly planted in his nose - and this time he can't get it out! Miss Pimple, with some help from the students in the class, attempts to get Bubba's finger out of his nose:

This time Miss Pimple grabbed Bubba's arm with two hands and began to shake it back and forth with all her might. Bubba's head flew left, then right, then left. His eyeballs rolled up into his forehead.

"Wow! Better be careful, Big Mama," warned Rad Chad. "You might give old Bubba a bad case of whiplash."

"Nawp, Narbie, naaaaaaawp!" Bubba wailed.

Miss Pimple dropped Bubba's arm and jumped back as if his condition might be contagious.


     After Miss Pimple and the class, Mr. Zitmeister the principal, Nurse Needlebottom, and finally three firemen (Ernie, Bert and Bernie) try to pull Bubba's finger out of his nose, the principal finally hits on the idea of sending for Bubba's sister, Becky, who is in kindergarten. Becky immediately knows what to do and asks for pepper. Sure enough, the pepper does the trick, and Bubba sneezes his finger right out of his nose. Contrary to his worries that he'll be known as the nose jockey, Bubba finds that he's made friends with the characters in his class and that his little sister Becky can actually be quite cool.

     This story is based on a one-act play that received first prize in Theatre PEI's New Voices Play Writing Competition. It's divided into eight very readable chapters with a terrific illustration by Brenda Jones on each of the chapter title pages. The chapters are fairly short, and the vocabulary is suited to this age group.

Highly Recommended.

Lisa O'Hara, a librarian and mother of three school-aged children, resides in Winnipeg, MB.


To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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