Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Squids Will Be Squids - Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Summary: A collection of new and wacky fables with fresh morals, which are about all kinds of bossy, sneaky, funny and annoying people. A general moral offered by the book is, "If you are planning to write fables, don't forget to change people's names and avoid places with high cliffs". (image and summary from goodreads.com)

My Review:  Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka have a delightfully irreverent way of telling stories that I have loved since I was a kid.  If you've read The Stinky Cheese Man, you'll know what I mean.

This particular book deals with fables related to the Aesop kind.  And just as Aesop used animals in his tales, Smith and Scieszka follow suit, using animals like echidnas, sharks, wasps, gnats, walruses, and also inanimate objects like toast, froot loops, matches and straw.

If you haven't caught on yet, these aren't your classic fables.  Each page brings us a new tale about certain characters that will teach us a lesson as fables are wont to do.  For example, the tale about Straw, who goes to play with Matches, but whenever he suggests something to do, Matches hijacks the situation, greedily making it something that will favor him and making Straw realize what a selfish person Matches is.  The moral?  Don't play with matches.

The off the wall humor of these stories has long been one of my favorite sorts, and is probably where I get some of my dark humor to this day (that and Monty Python).  All the stories follow this strange humor, and you never quite know where the tale will end up or what moral you'll get, but you know it will be ridiculous, which is the charm of Squids Will Be Squids.

Smith's art is also wacky and fun, and fits these fables perfectly.  A lot look like they've been pieced together from cutouts, and the characters are zany and unique.

I find books like this tend to pair well with reluctant readers, as they let kids see that stories can be hilarious and make them laugh, and even lend to kids creating their own such fables.

My Rating: Four Stars

For the sensitive reader: these stories can be a little irreverent, as I've noted above, but there's nothing too extreme.

1 comment:

Jordan @ForeverLostinLiterature said...

These stories sound like a lot of fun, I really think I'll have to check this one out. Great review!

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