I love Squish. These graphic novels from Jennifer and Matt Holm, creators of Babymouse, are a perfect mix of science and entertainment. Which is to say, about 10% science, 90% entertainment. Not that I don’t love a lot of sciencey goodness. I do. But for this series, the Holm siblings got it just right.
Squish is another of the low budget graphic novel series that are fairly popular at the moment. When I say low-budget, I’m not talking about quality, I mean production cost: Small size and black, white, and a single color (for Squish, it’s green). Others in this mode include the Holms’ Babymouse (pink), Jarrett J. Krosoczka’s Lunch Lady (yellow), and The Flying Beaver Brothers (blue in one volume, green in the next).
All of these books make up for a less lavish presentation with wit, engagement, and fun. Squish is no exception. It is clever, funny, and harmless, with a good message in each book.
So, Squish is an amoeba. The Power of the Parasite is actually his third adventure, with a fourth, Captain Disaster, due out in September. I probably won’t review that one separately, though it was great. Maybe we should just consider this a review of the series as a whole. In which case, you’ll want to check out the first two books, Super Amoeba and A Brave New Pond.
Anyway. Amoeba. Basically, this is a school story. Squish deals with friends, teachers, bullies. He makes mistakes and learns from them. He reads a lot of comic books. He learns from them, too.
That science I mentioned before? It comes mostly in the form of vocabulary. Amoeba. Paramecium. Algae. Diatom. Parasite. Crustacean. The list kind of goes on and on. Aside from the basic definitions, the Holms sneak a little extra into each adventure. But not too much (10%!). I think the little science tidbits are my favorite part of the series.
One last thing: My son loves Squish. He’s 3. I don’t read them to him, but he looks at the pictures. He pointed out to me that the face on Squish’s hat usually has the same expression as Squish. How did I not notice that before?
I really like the Squish series. It’s funny, easy, and educational! Wins all around! If you like Lunch Lady or Babymouse, Squish is exactly the single-celled organism you’re looking for. I’ve got Book 1 in Room 3.
Squish: The Power of the Parasite
Squish: Captain Disaster
By Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Genre: Fantasy, school, science
Parasite on shelves May 22, 2012.
Disaster on shelves September 25, 2012.