Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Squids Will Be Squids

Title: Squids will be Squids ( Fresh Morals/ Beastly Fables)

Written by: Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith

Published by: Viking, the Penguin Group, 1998, fiction

Themes: Fables, morals addressing homework, curfews and television commercials, humor. Friends and friendship, folk tales and myths, comedy, songs and lyrics.

Age Written for: everyone especially kindergarten through grade six

What the jacket says: Admit it. You know you’d just love to tell stories about all the annoying, weird, pain-in-the-neck people you know. But you wouldn’t want to be a gossip. Well here’s how it’s done. Make like Aesop (and legions of storytellers before him): change the people to animals and add a moral. Now your stories aren’t rude gossip and bad jokes. They’re fables! Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith twisted fairy tales in  The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Now they’ve unlocked the ancient secret of animal tales, and the world of fables may never be the same. The moral of the story? If you can’t say something nice about someone, change the guy’s name to Donkey or Squid.

Why I love it: Jon Scieszka’s humor and Lane Smith’s art, why else? When I found out that Jon Scieszka is the founder of a literacy initiative for boys (guysread.com), which is getting kids to read, I took all of his books out of the library  and also because I am in love with him. Yes, I admit it, I have a crush on Jon Scieszka. I can’t get enough of him.  Last week I highlighted a book for reluctant readers and I do it again this week. This book is perfect for reluctant readers and boys in particular, just like last week’s The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. Boys and reluctant readers of all kinds will find the humor in these books aimed directly at them.  The way this book and last weeks book poke fun at traditional fables and fairy tales are ways all boys can identify with. “And the morals of these stories aren’t bits of wisdom; instead, they are nonsensical modern messages, including: “Just because you have a lot of stuff, don’t think you’re so special,” “Don’t play with matches,” and “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”

Resources: Teacher Guides: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/mff/fractured_fairy_squids.htm this has drop down tabs with pre reading and post reading activities, explanations of fables and fairy tales and is one of many terrific sites  for teacher guides.

Scholastic Lesson Plans: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/squids-will-be-squids-lesson-plan , http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/squids-will-be-squids

For more books with resources please visit Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog. And if you’d like to be whisked away through cyber space to the resource page and the list of more marvelous recommended perfect picture books just click on the perfect picture book badge on the right.

English: Depiction of Aesop from the Nuremberg...

Image via Wikipedia

 

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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32 Responses to Perfect Picture Book Friday/ Squids Will Be Squids

  1. This book is on my to-read list from when Heather posted it in February – it sounds so fun! I love humorous books, and Jon Scieszka is a master! You’re right – this is a perfect type of book for reluctant readers, and one boys are likely to be drawn to, so I’m glad to add it to those categories and I’m so glad you found some different resources, too – the more the better 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I guess I better start looking because I didn’t know we had featured it in February on PPBF. Thanks for adding it to categories.

      Yes, thanks for your kind words. 🙂

      Like

  2. Clar, I’m not sure what is better — the book or your admitted crush. Too cute! I’ll have to check out the guysread.com site. Thanks for making me smile this morning.

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  3. Jarm Del Boccio says:

    This sounds like a fun read….I’ll look for it in our children’s library. Thanks for sharing it Clar!

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  4. I looked at the cover and said, “Hmmm. Interesting. Looks fun.” This, after I read the so cool title. Then I saw the author/illustrator team. Yes. It just had to be. Not quite, “I knew it,” but nearly. Perfect book for the perfect team. I nearly freaked when I discovered my library actually has a copy! Sweet! Their books are usually you would call QUIRKY, for sure!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Yes, Quirky is a good term for them. The way they poke fun at all the conventional stories and ways of life is fantastical.

      So glad your library has a copy. You’ll enjoy it for sure. 🙂

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  5. Clar, where you at LASCBWI11 last summer when Jon Scieszka did a keynote? That man os so funny, whether you are 2 or 102, he knows how to tell stories that have people rolling. This is a great suggestion!

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  6. Margot Finke says:

    Love the cover art. Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith are an awesome team. “Stinky Cheese” was also a hands down winner.
    I Facebooked, Twittered, and added it to several GoogleX circles – teachers, bookstores and writers etc.

    BOOKS for KIDS – Manuscript Critiques
    http://www.margotfinke.com

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  7. AWESOME book choice! We just read “Guysread Thriller” for our March Boys Book Club! I am going to post about it Monday 🙂

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  8. Clar, you keep coming up with the best recommendation. You totally had me with the title. I really appreciate how you find those “just right” books for reluctant readers.

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  9. I started laughing when I read the jacket of the book. What a brilliant idea. This is one very funny book and I will definitely have to check it out. Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith are a winning team! Love your crush on Jon. Great book for boys!

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  10. Heather says:

    Our family favorite in this book is the one about Pigeon. I’m so glad you’ve read this one, too, it’s such a quirky, funny book!!

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  11. Amy Dixon says:

    These guys are strange in such a lovely way. I love their books!

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  12. I was with Joanna and Pat when we heard Jon’s keynote speech at LA SCBWI 11 last year, awesome speaker. Oh my a crush on him…lol. This is an excellent book Clar, great find. My thoughts are always “if you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything.”

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    • clarbojahn says:

      That is a good proverb to follow. But Jon takes that to the level of if you want to make fun of someone make him into an animal and paint him into a fable, then he/she won’t be able to say it’s about them and they will learn something from it. I think it’s all in the poking fun of things for him. Not vicious but fun.

      Envy you being at Jon’s keynote speech. Maybe he’ll come speak here in Virginia. At the MidAtlantic SCBWI next fall. I’ll keep my eyes open. he he. ears rather. 🙂

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  13. jannatwrites says:

    I like that authors are targeting boys as readers. My older son went through a phase where he didn’t like to read and I think it had to do with what he was offered. He has since found a few series/authors that he enjoys so reading is back on his agenda.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I know what you mean, Janna. Boys are taught by their peers that reading isn’t cool so they don’t want to read. I am trying to highlight books for boys because my own grand son doesn’t like to read. He just wants to do computer games. However he does like it when Grandpa reads out loud to him. lol.
      And I’m finding books for him to like. 🙂

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  14. Hi Clar, I was led to your site through Susanna’s PPBF – and I am so glad it did, since we are kindreds in the sense of loving the tandem of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka. Ten years back, children’s books (or the notion of postmodern picture books) were alien to me, until I discovered The Stinky Cheese Man – and there was no turning back for me at that point. I was hooked on picture books and children’s lit! I have a personal copy of Squids will be Squids as well, can’t stop laughing as I read through it. BRILLIANT! Perfect choice!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Oh! Wonderful! A fellow Jon Scieszka fan! so glad to meet you. I am hooked too. I took all of his books out of the library so I could look at them in leisure all at once. No turning back for me either. lol.

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  15. Clar…great review! Looks like such a funny book…kids will love it…and I’m looking forward to reading it as well.
    This could be a great book for a unit or discussion on gossiping…which, along with bullying and teasing, causes so many children so much pain. Thanks also for the wonderful resources.
    I’ll have to check out the author (I’m sure I’ve read other stuff by him)…if you have a crush on him, he must be pretty special. 🙂

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Thanks, Vivian. Those resources are good ones for anyone interested in digging a little bit deeper into the book.

      How are you finding time to read all these books? I’m only hitting a few. 🙂

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  17. You are right….Jon Scieszka’s humor and Lane Smith’s art make this a MUST read. I hadn’t heard of it, so thanks for the review!

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