Cover Reveal of Bubbles, by award-winning author Mark Huffman
The Children’s Book Review
That’s it! We can’t hold it in any longer. It’s cover reveal day for Bubbles, by award-winning author Mark Huffman.
We’re absolutely sure that fans of Mark’s The Toot Fairy will have a blast reading this next installment from the Toot Fairy Universe. Illustrated in watercolors by Dawn Davidson, the scene is set beautifully for a literal and metaphorical bubbly, underwater adventure. You’ll definitely want to save some of your gas money to spend at the bookstore on a copy of Bubbles!
Where did the idea of Bubbles come from?
Mark Huffman: I wanted to do more stories with Jessa the Toot Fairy, and I knew I also wanted to start building a connected fairytale universe across my children’s books. Mermaids were a natural follow-up to fairies, and the idea of a mermaid with a gas problem who would need Jessa’s help sounded pretty funny. Of course, underwater flatulence would manifest as bubbles, and: voila!
Did any popular mermaid tales impact your crafting of this story?
Yes, this story more than any other I’ve written. The elements of The Little Mermaid (by Hans Christian Andersen, public domain!) worked perfectly for mermaid Auri’s thought process. Tummy troubles causing bubbles under the sea? Become human, who pass their gas in the air, where there are no bubbles at all! How could she have known it wasn’t as simple as that?
Tell me, what is the writing process like when crafting these clever picture books?
Mostly, it’s just a matter of deciding which classic fairytale or bit of folklore lends itself best to which bodily fluid or function most hilariously. After I have the major story beats, putting them into verse comes pretty easily to me.
I could not help but notice that Auri has a lot of sisters (twenty-one!). Is there a significance to the king having twenty-two daughters? Might we see these daughters at some point in the future?
No particular significance to twenty-two. I needed three syllables to fit the meter, so it could’ve been seventeen, or twenty-three, or fifty-six. (Dawn Davidson, my illustrator, would’ve been mad if I’d made her draw fifty-six mermaids, so I stayed with a more manageable number.) As for Auri’s sisters: I haven’t written any other mermaid stories yet, but I’m sure there are countless tales under the sea waiting to be told.
This is your second book that addresses flatulence. I must ask, is this dedication to gas at all related to your career as an anesthesiologist?
It certainly seems to be working out that way, but don’t box me in: I also have stories about earwax, boogers, toilets, fingernails in soup, pimples, prosthetic bottoms, lactose intolerance, and a bunch (like Billan the Bard) that have no body humor whatsoever. But yes, I do have at least half a dozen more about toots.
I love the cameo of Jessa from your first children’s book, The Toot Fairy. Can we expect any more crossovers in your future books?
Yes! Plenty of cameos, as well as some guest-starring and even a few proper sequels.
As a family man, I am curious: What do your children think of your books? Do they have a favorite character?
My kids are becoming harder and harder to impress, but Jessa will always be a favorite. I can’t answer this as fully as I want, since my kids’ other favorite characters have yet had books made of them, but if you’d like to help them all have books of their own, buy this one and tell your friends!
What is the message you would like readers to take away from reading this book?
Ultimately, Auri learns a lesson about contentment. So many times, we think the solution to our problems, our anxieties, our discomforts, is to change our entire situation, rather than changing our attitudes about our situation. That isn’t to say that problems aren’t real, but often the grass isn’t actually greener, and we discover too late it’s mostly weeds and we’re sort of allergic to them. My favorite children’s book with this same message is I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew by Dr. Seuss, but you should definitely read Bubbles first.
Author the Book
Written by Mark Huffman
Illustrated by Dawn Davidson
Ages 5+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: Brown Books Kids | ISBN-13: 9781612543635
Publisher’s Synopsis: The story follows Aurelia the mermaid, who is ashamed of the constant trail of bubbles that follows her. She hides away, secretly dreaming of becoming a human–where toots are invisible. Jess (the world’s only practicing toot fairy) pays a visit to Bubbles and explains the flaw in this plan. Human toots are not visible, but they often come with even more embarrassing smells and sounds. In the end, she convinces Aurelia to be happy as she is–and the mermaid proudly swims off into the ocean to meet her friends.
About the Author
Bubbles is Mark Huffman’s fourth children’s book. If you’ve read his first three — The Toot Fairy, Cheesemaker Durdsden, and Billan the Bard — and made it through Bubbles to this author bio, you’ve probably realized that all of these stories take place in a shared fairy tale universe! How exciting!
About the Illustrator
Dawn Davidson is a freelance illustrator who did not anticipate her classical art training being
put to use in books about farting mermaids, but, as a mother of three, she knows all about
body humor. She spends her days drawing funny pictures and pretty webcomics, writing
fanfiction, browsing social media, and trying not to overindulge her fondness for cheese. One
sweet day she’ll move out of Florida to a state with seasons.