Skip to main content

President Squid by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Sara Varon





President Squid pairs one of my favorite graphic novels author/illustrators, Sara Varon, with picture book authorAaron Reynolds for a high-energy, undersea look into the mind of a squid who thinks he should be president. Varon's illustrations are perfectly paired with this kooky character. She captures Squid's (slightly demented) exuberance while also peppering the scenario behind Squid with curious sea creatures taking in the spectacle. Be sure to read my reviews of Varon's graphic novels here. Her work is comfortably curious and her stories always have underlying themes of friendship, compassion and creativity. Also, her books are hugely popular in my library!



Less of an actual presidential campaign and more of a rationale, Squid has five solid reasons for why HE should be president. These include wearing a tie, having the biggest house in the ocean (the sunken remains of the Titanic) and being famous - he has a book named after him, after all.




He also is famous, does all the talking and is the BIG BOSS. While most picture books take two years from start (being sold to a publisher) to finish, I feel like Aaron Reynolds must have modeled Squid, even marginally, after Donald Trump, who did not announce his bid for presidency until June of 2015. Happily, Squid, megalomaniac that he is, is much more likable than Trump.



While campaigning and insisting that he be hailed, Squid encounters a sardine who is not hailing him. Realizing that the sardine is trapped in a clam (who has never heard of Squid because, well, clams don't have ears) Squid exerts extreme effort and frees the sardine. And, while the sardine points out that helping people is VERY presidential and he finally receives the adulation of his underwater public, Squid ultimately makes an executive decision. Being president is "exhausting." Instead, he wants to be king! As Squid says, "All of the power! None of the work!"

Source: Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…