[Book Review] SpongeBob Squarepants: Bubble Blowers, Beware! by David Lewman

Anyone who's seen the SpongeBob Squarepants movie will recognize the cover of this tie-in picture book as an adaptation of a scene from the film, during which SpongeBob and Patrick are attempting to steal back the keys to their car from a thieving thug... only to get side tracked by bubbles, of all things, because they're absolute morons.

So, when I sat down at my desk to read the book, I fully expected to end up writing a review that labeled the book a mediocre and pared-down version of that scene, as most of these "picture book adaptations of movie scene" books are; I'm still baffled as to why they're a genre, honestly. Who's buying them?

But I was wrong in the most hilarious way. There is a single gem of ridiculousness in this book that made the entire thing hysterical. If you've seen the movie, you may recall that a line during the scene being adapted here involves the thugs spotting the bubbles and angrily reciting the line, "All bubble-blowing babies will be beaten senseless by every able-bodied patron in the bar."

So we've got some things that aren't exactly G-rated, I suppose. "Beaten senseless" is fairly graphic violence for a book intended for toddlers, perhaps, and bars--or, more accurately, the alcohol that the word "bar" implies--is probably considered by a lot of parents to be an inappropriate concept for two- to four-year-olds.

The line that they substitute it with, then, is absolute gold.

"Anyone who blows a bubble will be laughed at by every able-bodied person in the pool hall."

I burst out laughing. The entire concept here is absolutely nonsensical. This is a book for young fans of the SpongeBob Squarepants franchise. It specifically ties in to the movie and presumably expects its readers to have seen the film... and yet it also decided that a fairly important line from that very movie isn't appropriate for the audience of the book? So, it's appropriate when it's in a movie that you're bringing your toddler to see... but not when it's in a book? The heck?

That's the funniest thing I've seen all day. The logic simply doesn't work. Either SpongeBob Squarepants is appropriate for picture book audiences or it isn't, but between the book and the movie, they're really trying to have it both ways. All in the name of profit, I suppose.

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