The illustrator of Squish Super Amoeba, Matthew Holm, recently came to visit our school in Suzhou, China. He did eight sessions over two days for Grades PreS-12. I’m the secondary librarian, so at the secondary level (Grades 6-12), he did three large-group presentations and one drawing workshop with IB art students.
The visit was incredible, and my two boys enjoyed our dinner out one night with Matt and his wife. If you need an illustrator visit, I highly recommend Matt Holm, no matter what grade level you serve!
AUTHOR: Jennifer Holm
ILLUSTRATOR: Matthew Holm
SERIES: Squish, book 1
PUBLISHER: Random House
PUBLICATION DATE: May 10, 2011
GENRE: graphic novel, humor
SETTING: “a microscopic world” on Earth
GIVE IT TO: ES, MS
SUMMARY OF SQUISH SUPER AMOEBA
Squish may be a microscopic amoeba, but he has big problems. His best friend Pod keeps asking for Squish’s taco money in order to solve global warming. His naive friend Peggy the Paramecium doesn’t realize she’s about to be eaten by a insatiably hungry, mean amoeba named Lynwood. Can Squish find the hero within himself in time to save Peggy?
REVIEW OF SQUISH SUPER AMOEBA
Oh. My. Cuteness. I completely see why this little graphic novel is so darn popular with younger readers. I love that the black and white illustrations are accented with a bright, slimy green. I love how the book has lots of science references and little nuggets of information about paramecia, amoebas, planaria, and plant parts. I love the recipe to grow your own mold in the back, as well as the tutorial on how to draw your own Squish character. It’s short, funny, and clever. Love it!
THE BOTTOM LINE
I doubt there are many elementary or even middle school libraries that do not have this incredibly popular series. If you don’t have the Squish series yet, what on earth are you waiting for?
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY
I’ve had the Squish and Babymouse series in every school library I’ve worked in (that would be four!). Both are very popular. Though they will appeal most to younger readers (maybe grades 1-4), I highly recommend these books for middle schools, too. The graphic novels are a great segue to introduce students to several middle school novels by Jennifer Holm (three of which are Newbery Honor winners). They are also excellent for English Language Learners and reluctant readers.
Babymouse series (Holm, Holm); Sunny Side Up (Holm, Holm); Lunch Lady series (Krosoczka)
- Overall: 5/5
- Creativity: 5/5
- Characters: 5/5–love those facial expressions!
- Engrossing: 5/5–maybe not so much for me, but younger readers will be engrossed
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to young readers: 5/5–these are incredibly popular!
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
No content concerns for any age level.
- Language: none
- Sexuality: none
- Violence: very mild; mild superhero violence, the bully amoeba starts to eat Peggy
- Drugs/Alcohol: none