Jeni’s Bubble

A sticky tale about not giving up

Based on a true story, Jeni’s Bubble follows the adventure of a five-year-old girl who really wants to learn how to blow BIG BUBBLES with her gum. With Grandma’s encouragement and the mantra “practice makes perfect”, little Jeni figures out how to overcome her frustrations and learn something new. But Grandma forgets to tell her one important thing… Join Jeni in this beautifully illustrated story about how a helping hand, a determined spirit, and lots of practice can make dreams come true.


In 1988, Ann-Margret was tasked with writing a children’s book based on a true story as a final project for a Master’s in Reading and Language Arts class. Growing up the oldest of four, Ann-Margret instantly knew she wanted to tell one of the many stories involving her younger siblings. Ann-Margret pondered and pondered what story to share when finally—it hit her! Ann-Margret would tell the story of her younger sister, Jeni, learning how to blow BIG BUBBLES with gum. For as long as Ann-Margret could remember Jeni had been obsessed with large bubbles made out of gum. Jeni would laugh and clap whenever she saw anyone make a big bubble. Then, Jeni decided one day that she too wanted to make big bubbles. At just 5 years old, Jeni enlisted the help of the best bubble blower she knew, her and Ann-Margret’s grandmother, Grandma Margaret. Smiling down at her, Grandma Margaret promised that she would help teach Jeni how to make the biggest of bubbles. Overjoyed by Grandma Margaret’s help, Jeni began constantly practicing every technique Grandma Margaret taught her. Finally, at Ann-Margret’s 7th birthday party, Jeni decided it was time to show Grandma Margaret how great Jeni’s bubble blowing skills were. Jeni put a large chunk of gum in her mouth and began to blow until her bubble was so big that it popped all over Jeni’s face and hair. Everyone spent the next few hours using peanut butter and ice to remove the gum from all over Jeni. It was quite the party and became an even bigger story to tell!