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BRAVE NEW POND by Jennifer L. Holm Kirkus Star


From the Squish series, volume 2

by Jennifer L. Holm & illustrated by Jennifer L. Holm & by Matthew Holm & illustrated by Matthew Holm

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-84390-7
Publisher: Random House

The single-celled everylad who oozed from the Babymouse series to start one of his own in Squish #1: Super Amoeba (2011) tries hanging with the cool crowd.

Squish’s efforts to turn over a new pseudopod on the first day of school look futile—until an invitation to sit at the lunch table with the six hyper-cool Algae brothers offers escape from both his nerdy moocher buddy Pod’s obsession with asteroid disaster and classmate Peggy Paramecium’s relentless optimism. He discovers the price, though, when one brother relieves him of his prized baseball cap and then orders him to dump nacho cheese all over Pod. Fortunately, Squish has beloved comic-book hero Super Amoeba to provide a moral compass. Mixing framed and unframed panels, the Holms alternate between Squish’s dilemma, illustrated with green highlights, and black and white pages from Squish’s comic, in which Super Amoeba has to make a parallel choice. In the end, both amoebae make the heroic decision. The authors tuck in some morsels of biology, end with instructions for making green slime and provide another sort-of closure for the main plot—as Peggy puts it: “Oh no! The algae just got wiped out by an Asteroid!! That’s so sad!!! Gee, I wonder if tomorrow is pizza day!”

Any day there’s a new Squish (or Babymouse, for that matter) is Pizza Day. (Graphic novel. 7-9)