Friday, April 7, 2017

The Gumazing Gum Girl! Gum Luck by Rhode Montijo with Luke Reynolds

It seems a long time since I reviewed the first Gumazing Gum Girl title, Chews Your Destiny! and indeed it has been four, nearly five years. This title proved popular with my patrons (much more so than my beloved Gum Girl by Andi Watson. Sigh.) and I waited eagerly for a sequel.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally, really and truly, there is going to be a new Gum Girl! All the long, disappointed nights, the sad little "publication cancelled" notices, this one is really happening!

It starts out, appropriately enough, with a quick recap. After all, readers who loved the first title will now be teens! Gabby Gomez loves gum. Unfortunately, it's a forbidden substance in her house, thanks to her dentist father. But when Gabby sneaks gum anyways and has an accident, she discovers her secret power - to turn into the Gumazing Gum Girl!

In this second volume, Gabby is continuing her brave and stretchy deeds, but she has a lot of worries. What will she do about the mean bully at school? Can she keep her secret identity secret? She also has a lot of guilt about not telling her parents about her secret powers, especially since it means she has to keep breaking the rules and chewing gum. Things get even worse when a supervillain lets loose all the animals in the zoo and Gabby is left with no gum but monkey-chewed Galactic Grape! On top of that, she's getting a cavity and has a dentist appointment - with her dad! What will Gabby do?

The bold, pink cartoon illustrations will presumably switch to purple when Gabby changes her gum. The ARC I previewed was in color only through the first few pages. The layout of this graphic blend is primarily comics with several chunks of explanatory text, similar to Bad Kitty. The story is light and funny, it's great to see Hispanic characters as the main protagonists, and overall this is a delightful return to a fun and silly series.

Verdict: My main concern with this is that the kids who originally read the first book will have long ago moved on. If you're going to add this title (and I hope you do as it's super fun) you'll need to treat it as a new series in promoting it to young readers.

ISBN: 9781423161172; Published June 2017 by Disney-Hyperion; ARC provided by publisher for review

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