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Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh Morals, Beastly Fables Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 15, 1998
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Scieszka and illustrator Lane Smith are unparalleled in their eccentricity and unrelenting in their boyish, twisted-yet-innocent zeal. In co-creations from The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales to The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs to Math Curse, Scieszka's wacko sense of humor and Smith's quirky, always gorgeous artwork thrillingly congeal in Molly Leach's creative, exuberant design. We see many picture books that are better suited for adults than kids, but this fine specimen is truly meant for goofballs of all ages. (Click to see a sample spread. Illustration © 1998 Lane Smith, reproduced with permission of Viking, a division of Penguin Putnam.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8th, 1954. He grew up with five brothers, has the same birthday as Peter Sellers and the Virgin Mary, and a sneaking suspicion that the characters in his Dick and Jane reader were not of this world. Those plain facts, plus his elementary school principal dad, Louis, his registered nurse mom, Shirley (who once took Jon's Cub Scout den on a field trip to the prenatal ward), Mad Magazine, four years of pre-med undergrad, "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia University, Robert Benchley, five years of painting apartments in New York City, his lovely wife Jeri Hansen who introduced him to Molly Leach and Lane Smith, Green Eggs and Ham, his teenage daughter Casey and almost teenage son Jake, ten years of teaching a little bit of everything from first grade to eighth grade, and the last twenty years of living in Brooklyn...are just some of Jon's answers to the questions, "Where do you get your ideas?" and/or "How did you become a writer?" I don't know, just because, none of your beeswax, and flapdoodle poppycock and balderdash are some more of Jon's answers to questions you can imagine on your own. Jon met up with Lane Smith around 1986 or so, and nothing has been the same since. Their first book, the wiseguy fairy tale retelling, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! was initially rejected by most publishers as "too weird" and "too sophisticated". Published by Viking in 1989, The True Story has now sold over a million copies, been translated into ten languages, and been called a "classic picture book for all ages". Jon and Lane's The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales (1992) took the world of the picture book a few steps further. Goofing with the conventions of fairy tales and even being a book, The Stinky Cheese Man became a household word, sold another mess of copies in multiple languages, offended a few purists, and still managed to win a Caldecott Honor medal. Math Curse (1995) further stretched the notion of what subjects make good picture books, selling more books faster than either 3 Little Pigs or Stinky Cheese, and winning a whole slew of awards --all for a book full of mathematics.More recently, Jon and Lane have resurrected fables (in the smart, funny, and a little bit wicked way Aesop would have wanted them) in their latest collaboration, Squids Will Be Squids (1998). No telling where they might take the picture book next. Someone once wrote, "Jon Scieszka has forever changed the face of children's literature." And while there is still some confusion over exactly who that someone was, and whether children's literature does, in fact, have a face, most would agree-from The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! to Squids Will Be Squids, since Scieszka put pen to paper, children's literature sure has been...different.
Top Customer Reviews
Well, the kids squealed in delight, recognizing that here was a guy in tune with their own inner "smart-alecs." This particular book, "Squids Will Be Squids," is perhaps the most lucid product of Scieszka's irreverent imagination. It is is basically a re-telling of familiar and not-so-familiar fables, but with unexpected, and very funny twists at the end. The humor is such that both kids and adults will snicker, and it is enhanced by Lane Smith's appropriately bizzare character illustrations.
This is a book for any kid who is catching on (or becoming a pro) in the art of gentle sarcasm. There is a fable about why kids in the cafeteria don't want to eat lunch with Shark, Wasp, and Bacteria, and the punchline is classic. Another is a tale that warps around, and totally reinterprets, the otherwise sage advice, "Don't Play with Matches."
I've read some of these fables out loud (in funny voices) to college students, who couldn't seem to get enough of them. (Made me wonder if they were deprived of being read to while youngsters). One later told me that she purchased a copy of "Squids will Be Squids" for her former high-school science teacher, and he has been thanking her ever since. Like Gary Larson's "Far Side" cartoons? Then you're just gonna' love this!
Wonderful illustrations and great text - just a little too mature for 4-8 year olds.
What young readers will find in these inventive fables are not lessons about necessity being the mother of invention or look before you leap, but more practical concerns for the modern world such as do not believe everything you see on TV, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and just because you have a lot of stuff do not think you are so special. Some of the fables you need to think about to get to the real point, such as the moral "Don't play with matches," which is really about something even worse than matches (i.e., people you are warned to stay away from). Throughout the book you will find a constant onslaught of wicked humor (the grasshopper's history assignment is priceless) and even if it over the heads of many young readers, they will understand the jokes down the road when they return to this book. After all, the morals of fables are supposed to be timeless, even if they were just made up for this 1998 book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a terrible kids book. It is pointless, strange, gross, weird and odd. Some of the stories are even inappropriate for children. Read morePublished 13 days ago by DRoad
read it to my grandsons and they really got a kick out of the humor .Published 6 months ago by John Beardslee
great book and illustration but the binding is weird and the font is awful - it is impossible for my 7 year old to read it, and he's an excellent reader. Read morePublished 7 months ago by prosecute hillary clinton
Probably a little more adult than child oriented, but clever Sciezka, as usual. (Wish he would re-write more fairy tales. Read morePublished 8 months ago by mamabear507
kids love this book. the oldest kid even reads it to the youngestPublished 13 months ago by Rev. Mom
I purchased this book because it was written by Scieszka who also wrote "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" which is very entertaining. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Rhonda Jones