Squish No. 5 : GAME ON!, by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm, 90 pp, RL 1.5

Back in 2011, I enthusiastically reviewed the first two books in the Squish series by Jennifer L Holm and Matthew Holm. The Holms, a brother and sister team, are also the creators of the HUGELY popular Babymouse series of graphic novels (now up to #17) which, despite the expansive pinkness, are read by boys. It was in Babymouse #14 : Mad Scientist, that Squish first came to life, his green-blobbiness standing out against the pink science lab. The Squish series is fantastic because, besides having a boy protagonist and potentially attracting even more readers (despite the fact that Babymouse has a track record with boy readers) Squish is written at a slightly lower reading level and a bit lighter on text and the density of panels and text on the page making this series IDEAL bridge for readers ready to move on from leveled readers into chapter books. After reviewing the first book, I don't usually review subsequent titles in series. But the Squish books are so fantastic, continue to be loved by my son and have really great, pertinent story lines - especially Squish #5 - Game On! - that I want to call this series to your attention again or maybe for the first time. 

In Squish #5 - Game On!, Squish's dad gives him $50 and takes him to the comic book store to buy the newest edition of The Adventures of Super Amoeba!, his favorite, wisely saving the rest of his money. While at the comic book store, the two see a poster for a comic convention with a special appearance by the creators of Babymouse! Squish and his dad decide to dress up like their favorite comic book characters and go to the convention where they just might find some back issues of The Adventures of Super Amoeba! In the weeks before the convention, Squish gets assigned a book report with the promise that all reports turned in late will receive a D grade or lower and he also needs to work on his costume for the convention. But, his best friends Peggy and Pod are playing this amazing game called MITOSIS on a handheld device (on something that looks remarkably like a GameBoy) and can't stop talking about it. After finishing his comic book, Pod lets Squish have a try at the game. And he is hooked. Really hooked. So hooked that he doesn't make his costume for the comic convention and, even worse, he doesn't get his book report done in time. The Holm's presentation of Squish's dilemma and how he handles it and - best of all - the consequences - are wonderful. While Squish still gets a D grade, his asks his teacher how he can bring his grade up and she, also a comic book lover, tells him he can make a comic book of the subject of his book report - Moby Dick. Even better, Squish and his dad make it to the comic book convention. The brilliant final page of Squish #5 - Game On! shows a booth selling the newly released comic book version of the game MITOSIS. Sigh.

As always, every Squish book includes a cool science experiment (how to make a rainbow in this edition) and a "how to draw" page featuring one of the characters from the book.

Squish #1 - 4!

BABYMOUSE #1 - 16!

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