Monday, May 16, 2011

BABYMOUSE: Mad Scientist and SQUISH: Super Amoeba

Babymouse #14: Mad Scientist

Babymouse: Mad Scientist
by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Random House, May 10, 2011
review copy purchased for my classroom library

Squish #1: Super Amoeba

Squish: Super Amoeba

by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Random House, May 10, 2011
review copy purchased for my classroom library

The Holm siblings have done it again! Babymouse is back, challenged by her dad to enter the science fair and maybe even become the first scientist in the family. There are nods to all the greater and lesser scientists in history (and even to Mr. Spock, the Star Trek scientist), and Babymouse dreams of the great discoveries she might make (Babymousaurus, Babymousillin, the Babymouse Whisker Theorem, and the Pink Planet). Babymouse and her class are introduced to the greatest tool of science -- The Scientific Method, and Babymouse's dad gets her a microscope just like the one he had when he was a kid and he takes her to a pond to collect amoeba to study under the microscope.

Babymouse discovers Squish in a drop of pond water, and a friendship is born. A friendship that is sealed when Babymouse shares her cupcakes with him! Cupcakes and Squish become the second-place stars of the science fair, but you'll have to read the book to find out how they manage that!

In Squish No. 1, we learn more about Squish -- he's a blobby amoeba who loves comics (favorite character: Super Amoeba) and Twinkies. He has a genius friend Pod and  an unfailingly cheerful friend Peggy. His principal is a planarian, his teacher is a rotifer, and the bully of the school is an amoeba named Lynwood.

So you've got a pretty basic storyline of the unlikely hero who has to do battle against the bully to save his friend, and you've got the Babymouse convention of the dream sequence in a contrasting color (this time the book is in green and the dream/fantasy is in black and white...which probably has deep meaning, but I'm not going there). But what else you've got with Squish is an incredible amount of science packed into a 90 page graphic novel. I'm smiling to myself as I imagine a whole generation of students who will hit middle school and high school biology classes with a decent bank of background knowledge about pond life...courtesy of the Squish series!

2 comments:

  1. one of my daughters was crazy about the baby mouse series for awhile, i think when she was 8 or 9

    i liked reading them as well

    whimsical and stuff about imagination as i recall

    nice illustrations

    ReplyDelete
  2. Our students are crazy for Babymouse and thrilled about Squish. I was so irritated by the review in this weekend's NYTimes - it did not reflect the reaction I've gotten from students who've read these. Thanks for a great review!

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