President Squid, by Aaron Reynolds/Illustrated by Sara Varon (March 2016, Chronicle Books), $16.99, ISBN: 9781452136479
Recommended for ages 5-8
This is a big election year, so get read for tons of election books – we had the adorable Monster Needs Your Vote last year, which also taught young readers a little bit about the election process, and this year, we’ve got President Squid, by Aaron Reynolds and Sara Varon, two of my favorite authors/illustrators: Aaron Reynolds, who’s given us great books like Superhero School, Chicks and Salsa, and Creepy Carrots, and Sara Varon, who’s most recently re-published her all-ages graphic novel, Sweater Weather, along with favorites like Bake Sale and Odd Duck.
Squid has had a huge realization: There’s never been a giant squid president before! He’s more than ready and willing to take on the job, and he’s got five reasons why: He wears a tie (very presidential); he’s got a TITANIC house (get it? Titanic?); Presidents are famous (Squid has a book named after him, after all); they get to do all the talking, and most importantly, Presidents are the BIG BOSSES. Since Squid is pretty bossy, he’s a shoo-in, right? Well… maybe. When Squid realizes that being President is hard work, he sets his sights on an even bigger office.
Much like younger readers, Squid knows that being President is a big, important job, but he only sees the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. President Squid is good fun; a book that can start conversations as to what a President’s real duties are, as opposed to what Squid sees. You can even talk about why the President is considered a big boss; why does he wear a tie? What makes him famous, and what’s the name of the President’s big house? Homeschool Journeys has a great printable pack of election-related worksheets and activities that can accompany a reading of the story. Chronicle also has a free, downloadable activity kit to accompany President Squid, with printables that let you make your own election!
The ink and brush artwork on Bristol paper, colored in Photoshop, is fun and eye-catching. Black font is expressive and bold, making for a fun, easy-to-read storytime or independent reading selection.
Remember to Vote Squid (hey, you can even make up Monster vs. Squid election buttons for a book battle!) and add this to your collections if you’re looking for some fun, election-related books for younger readers.
Aaron Reynolds is a Caldecott honoree and New York Times bestselling author. Sara Varon is a recipient of a Sendak Award Fellowship and an Eisner nominee – together, they’re unstoppable!