Tuesday, August 28, 2012

In Which Ms.O Actually Reads Babymouse & Squish

AND THEY ARE SO FUN! Don't get me wrong ... we had them. But graphic novels have not really been my thing. I just get them for the kiddos. I would say ... strong mid-second grade and up?

This is a long post, BTW. Saved all the reviews until I was done. :/

I am poking around the Silhouette site to see if there is a pattern I can tweak to make a Babymouse. Will also have to look to see what we could order ... little standups or posters or what have you. Once we have some budget money. Or (cause let's be realistic here :X) I do.

I know the NerdyBookClub just had their Babymouse for President contest. Maybe we should hold one at school ... in mid-late October? Right before the "actual" election? Wouldn't have the famous judges but that's OK. Can't do September because we will be preparing for Kate Messner's visit and bookfair. AND on October 6th we will be hosting a STAR WARS READS DAY. I was more of a SW girl before. Now I'm a Babymouse enjoyin' SW girl. :]

I am curious. Do the kids recognize all the pop-culture references? Like if I made ... sort of a scavenger hunt. Would they know them? Or would any teachers participate if I included them? Would love to get teachers reading graphic novels. They tend to look down on them and tell the kids they don't count. (To be honest ... I knew they "counted" as reading but I used to look down on them a little bit! I know better now!) They are quick reads for a grown-up. Anyway.

Check out Babymouse's webpage here. And here's the Cafe Press site. There are some fun items here. #tempting
Oh and check out Colby Sharp's post here. He's getting ready for a Jennifer Holm visit and gathered several links to videos and such. I'm more jealous now than I would have been at the beginning of the summer!

Babymouse: Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1)Babymouse: Queen of the World! by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one had me at the inside front cover where Babymouse whispers "You could always just take a peek at the last page of the book."
And then it had to go and be a great story about figuring out who your real friends are.

Babymouse: Our Hero Babymouse: Our Hero by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think my favorite frame is Babymouse standing there, ready to accept her "fate" in the Dodgeball tournament. It's all in b&w except for her pink socks.
I am NOT a pink fan. Except for Babymouse.

Babymouse: Beach BabeBabymouse: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ahhh ... the "joys" of family vacations and little brothers (I have three!). Can't live with 'em, but even more so can't live without 'em.

Babymouse: Rock Star Babymouse: Rock Star by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So many cool references in the Babymouse books. The Wizard of Oz. The Sound of Music. The Pied Piper.
When Babymouse goes to her "zen" place? She can do wonders!
Also the "stupid elephants" getting in the way. That is typical!

Babymouse: Heartbreaker Babymouse: Heartbreaker by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not a pop culture reference ... but the scene where Babymouse is reading the magazine about how to get a boy to like you? And it tells her not to be too pushy so she practices "not calling him." And the narrator asks who and Babymouse doesn't even know. Sigh. #mylife
The only thing. And it is a small thing. Elementary age kiddos don't need to be worrying about dates to dances!

Camp BabymouseCamp Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

See, in this one Babymouse doesn't give up. She perseveres through her obstacles. That's awesome.
Plus? She feels about camp pretty much like I did. Allergic to lake water. Didn't like messy hair. Food is not so great. Not overly coordinated. I can relate. :]

Babymouse: Skater GirlBabymouse: Skater Girl by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love the cupcake Babymouse makes on the ice.
Love the Little Engine that Could dream.
Love that (slight spoiler here) her friends make her a trophy.

I'm not quite as sure about how I feel about her quitting. I mean, the mom's quote about "Sometimes you have to quit to find out what makes you happy" can be true. If it means going outside of your comfort zone and quitting "the norm" to try something new. And not enough time to read? Egads. And no cupcakes? Umm ...

BUT ... that was not quite clear in the book. I almost ... well, maybe I have become one of those nitpicky people. Would have liked to see something added to the story so it didn't just seem like Babymouse quit because it was too much work.

Babymouse: Puppy LoveBabymouse: Puppy Love by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think my favorite spread might have been the one at the end. I won't give it away. But it's funny.
Also ... BRAVO BABYMOUSE for going to your library to get books on how to take care of your pets!

Babymouse: Monster MashBabymouse: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First ... love the color scheme change.
Second: seriously. The way the narrator and Babymouse talk to each other? Hilarious!
Third: OLD MONSTER MOVIES=perfect Halloween.
Fourth: fairy costumes=blech!
Fifth: I feel like my desk is like Babymouse's locker. It eats things and I cannot find them. It sticks so that I can't open drawers. Said drawers then open 10 minutes later with no one even standing nearby.
Sixth: it's good to have friends who care about you for who you are.

Babymouse: The MusicalBabymouse: The Musical by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Awesome references to Broadway: Grease, Annie, The Phantom of the Opera, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, Annie. FUNNY.
And so true. The line to the girls' bathroom is always longer.

Babymouse: DragonslayerBabymouse: Dragonslayer by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So why did I wait so long to actually pick up a Babymouse? Well, one reason is they were always checked out at school!

Now I will look forward to school starting (in a couple weeks! NOT YET!) so that I can talk to kids about it. I'm dying to know ... do they notice all of the double entendre? These are so clever! It doesn't matter if they don't cause the story still fits--Babymouse joins the Mathletes. But the references to LoTR and the Chronicles of Narnia were hilarious.

Babymouse: Burns RubberBabymouse: Burns Rubber by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was mad at this one because Babymouse seemed like such a self-involved brat through most of it. Wilson. What WOULD she do without Wilson?
But then there was an awesome Star Wars scene. And some redemption in the end. Hey! Just like in Star Wars.

Babymouse: Mad ScientistBabymouse: Mad Scientist by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I like Squish. I knew he was coming further in to the book.
But they had me at the Star Trek scene.

A Very Babymouse ChristmasA Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I still like this one. Though just like the Christmas Splat book ... wouldn't it be nice if she learned how to share and serve others in this one? Instead of being so self-centered?
It's still funny and cute, though.

Babymouse: Cupcake TycoonBabymouse: Cupcake Tycoon by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Babymouse is everything I am not ... a lover of pink and a lover of cupcakes (don't get me wrong, I love sweets ... cake is just one that I don't crave and go looking for especially!).
But she also loves her library. Which is #AWESOME.

Babymouse #16: Babymouse for PresidentBabymouse #16: Babymouse for President by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Babymouse learns to speak for the people.

The "Typical" poster was my favorite. ;]

Check out Squish's webpage here. Not a lot to it yet but hopefully it will grow.

Squish: Super Amoeba (Squish, #1)Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Squish is a hoot. He's just such a funny little blob, no matter whether he likes that nickname or not.

And Peggy? Peggy would be hard to keep up with.

And Pod with his bowtie. Awesome.

Squish's Dad's answer to the bully problem? CLASSIC.

View all my reviews Squish: Brave New Pond (Squish, #2)Squish: Brave New Pond by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All I will say is that I LOVED the ending.

I mean ... if you can't have it in real life why not have it in your fiction?

Also I think it is hilarious how amoebas and paramecium can have such personality, facial expression, and body language. The author and illustrator sibling team must have the most fun writing these.

Squish #3: The Power of the ParasiteSquish #3: The Power of the Parasite by Jennifer L. Holm
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Squish learns a lesson here. "Friends" can be a good influence or bad. It's up to you to choose wisely.

View all my reviews I feel the need to go call one of my brothers now with all this brother-sister writing/drawing fun.



  1. Am I wrong to think that Babymouse is a tiny bit too young for 6th graders? I have a couple of the books, but they don't go out much. Bone, Cirque du Freak manga and even Lunch Lady do well, but not Babymouse.

    1. One of those cases where the cover doesn't really do it justice.
      The covers WOULD make Babymouse seem more juvenile, definitely. But maybe middle schoolers would "get" more of the pop culture references? Or maybe not and it doesn't even matter, only adults think those are funny. I just love the Star Wars and Star Trek and Shakespeare and Grease and Obama references. So funny!