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From the Squish series, volume 3

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

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 22nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-84391-4
Publisher: Random House

Summer swim camp and a reckless new friend test a young amoeba’s courage and moral compass alike.

Squish has been left to face the scary pool alone because his buddies Peggy and Pod have gone to ballet camp. He is delighted to meet Basil, an equally water-averse hydra with the same taste in comics (which is to say, Super Amoeba) and the cool ability to detach portions of his body. But Basil also sports stingers at the ends of his tentacles that he meanly uses to trip up not only unwary fellow campers but even the camp leader. Squish is inspired by his revered comic-book superprotozoan, who in a parallel plot deals briskly with a visiting superhero, a self-serving fluke named Parasite whose arrogance and outsized sense of entitlement lead to some bad behavior—and also by Pod’s demonstration of how to open a black hole with a pirouette. Squish mends fences with the counselor, sends Basil packing (or most of him, anyway) and even finally nerves himself to dive into the pool. Blobby but clothed figures pose beneath big balloons of clearly lettered dialogue and side commentary in the Holms’ thick lined, minimally detailed panels, and the suburban backdrops make it even easier for younger readers to transpose the microbial cast to their macroscopic world.

More evidence that Squish is anything but a Wimpy Kid, for all his diminutive size. (science demo, drawing page) (Graphic novel. 7-9)