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SQUISH, SUPER AMOEBA by Jennifer L. Holm Kirkus Star


From the Squish series, volume 1

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

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 24th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-375-84389-1
Publisher: Random House

The hilarious misadventures of a hapless young everylad who happens to be an amoeba.

Countering the (perceived, at least) girliness of their Babymouse series, the talented Holms turn to the microbial world for new graphic material. Like his revered comics hero, Super Amoeba, blobby Squish is determined to “do what’s right.” This turns out to be relatively easy when it’s his mooching buddy Pod suckering him into switching lunches or his relentlessly cheery classmate Peggy the paramecium (her every utterance trailed by a line of exclamation points!!!!!) begging him to come over after school to meet her new slime mold Fluffy. It's a lot harder when brutish bully Lynwood callously envelops and begins to digest the seemingly doomed Peggy for a snack. The siblings draw it Babymouse-style in thick lined cartoon panels with garish green highlights and dialogue balloons. Plenty of helpful arrows point out significant anatomical details (“Pseudopods”) or offer snarky side comments. The episode zips along to a climactic ugly (but just) surprise for Lynwood, then closes with an easily doable prank/science project involving a moistened slice of bread.

If ever a new series deserved to go viral, this one does. (Graphic novel. 7-9)