Bubble Trouble

Written by: Margaret Mahy

Illustrated by: Polly Dunbar

Before Reading

Explore and Discover

Can you imagine walking down the street, minding your own business, only to look up and see a baby floating along inside of a bubble? That's exactly what happens in this charming story about a girl that blew a bubble that caused a whole lot of trouble. Take a moment to look at the cover with your child and describe what it is that you see, as well as any elements that may catch your child's attention. If your child is too young to verbally respond, provide your own answers to questions.

What do you see on the cover?

Look! There is a baby in the bubble! How do you think he got in there?

Do you like bubbles? Why do you think the story is called "Bubble Trouble"?

What do you think will happen in this story?

{Flip to an illustration} Can you find the...?

As You Read

Build Language

Be sure to emphasize the alliterations and rhyming in the text, which will make for a more audibly engaging story time. Help build your child's vocabulary by pointing out the different elements in the illustrations as you read about them. For older children, ask simple questions like, "Can you find the brother reading in this picture? Why isn't he outside helping?" You can also use gestures to help your child understand different terms. For example, create a circle with your hand and use it to demonstrate words like BOBBED and BURST.

Also, help make connections to the rest of the story by saying things like, "Where do you think the baby will end up next? I think he will float all the way to... What do you think will happen next?" Also, use the illustrations to practice counting and letter recognition. Try naming the letters on the page talking about scrabble or counting how many people are in the human tower.

After Reading

Make Connections

Talk to and/or with your child about the story and make your own comments if your child is not yet able to verbally respond. 

Did you like that story? 

Can you find your favorite picture? Why is it your favorite?

How did the baby get into the bubble? 

This was a silly story. Why was it silly?

Let's read the story again!


Extending the Story

All Things Bubbles!

Sources: The Imagination Tree, Baby Parenting, Armelle Blog, and Engaging Toddler Activities


Whether it's making a homemade bubble solution with your little one, or trying out this cool bubble wrap activity for older children, there are tons of ways to have fun with bubbles! You can even learn how to create different bubble wands from things you have at home like a strainer or a cookie cutter. Even if it is just blowing bubbles as your little one looks on, you can see what your child is learning from this very simple act here.


A Look at Literacy Development

Your child learns so much from simple, seemingly insignificant interactions with you and his/her surroundings, so make the most of them with these simple tips! As you perform everyday actions, be sure to repeat what you are doing a few times so that there is a connection made between the verbal words and your actions. For example, you can say, "Do you want to play with this ball? This is such a bouncy ball. Can you bounce the ball?" For more easy tips, check out Launching into Literacy & Math.