Some of my favorite things (or should I say favorite Graphic Novels)

September seems to have become the time of the year when some of my favorite graphic novelists celebrate book releases.  Here are a few that have either just been released or will be released in the next couple of weeks.  

Drama by Raina Telgemeier (Scholastic Graphix, September 1, 2012)

Check out the official book trailer for Drama:

Amulet Vol 5:  Prince of the Elves  by Kazu Kibuishi (Scholastic Graphix, September 1, 2012)

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke (First Second, September 4, 2012)

Check out the official book trailer of Legends of Zita the Spacegirl:

Lunch Lady #8: Lunch Lady and the Picture Book Peril by Jarrett J. Kroscozka (Random House, September 11, 2012)

Squish #4: Captain Disaster by Jenni and Matt Holm (Random House, Septempber 25, 2012)

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Squish #1: Super Amoeba

Authors/Illustrators:  Jenni Holm & Matt Holm
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (release May 10, 2011)
Audience:  Ages 9 to 12
Source: Advanced Reader Copy from ALA Midwinter 2011
Graphic Novel * Humor

Description from GoodReads:
Introducing SQUISH—a new graphic novel series about a comic book-loving, twinkie-eating grade school AMOEBA trying to find his place in the world (or at least trying to make it through a school day). Inspired by his favorite comic book hero, SUPER AMOEBA!, Squish has to navigate school (bullies! detention! Principal Planaria!), family (dad: Hates to wear a tie. Secretly listens to heavy metal in the car), and friends (Peggy-rainbows! happy all the time! and Pod . . . who's . . . well, you just have to meet him). Can Squish save the world—and his friends—from the forces of evil lurking in the hallways? Find out in Squish: Super Amoeba—saving the world, one cell at a time!

As a big fan of the Babymouse series by sister and brother team, Jenni & Matt Holm, I was very excited to see that they had a new series.  It was probably one of the first books I read out of the pile of ARC's that I picked up from ALA Midwinter 2011 back in January.  Though I held off my review until now, that hasn't meant that I haven't been sharing my love for Squish with students and booksellers that I know.  

Similar to Babymouse, Squish primarily takes place in a school setting.  Of course there are the daily challenges that he must navigate around and figure out how to survive.   Those pesky challenges include lunch options (which I found interesting considering the book is about a one-celled organism), a tendency to daydream in class, avoiding detention, dealing with bullies, and Principal Planaria.  Squish has a couple of good friends, and supportive parents.  The combination of characters led by the day-dreaming Squish is entertaining and filled with a lot of laughs.  The format and illustrations are reminiscent of Babymouse.   Also, where as some boys might avoid the very pinkness of Babymouse, Squish's color theme is bold and fluorescent.  

Since I brought my copy of Squish to school, it has been passed around and around.  I am not even sure what child has it anymore and I mean this in a good way.  It moves from one child to the next without ever spending too much time back with me.  I am excited to know that Squish #2: Brave New Pond will be out at the end of September.  

My niece wrote up a shelf-talker for Squish for our local Indie Bookstore.  Here is what she wrote on her shelf-talker:

"The book is very funny, and it is a lot about school.  Squish (the amoeba) is smart, but daydreams a lot.  He has 2 best friends.  In the book, Squish has to stand up to a bully.  The book shows that you can talk to your parents about school.  I liked the way the authors ended it.  Read and enjoy!" - Jackie, age 10

Below is the book trailer for Squish, watch and enjoy -

For where to find the creators of Squish:

Jennifer Holm's Webpage:

Matt Holm's Webpage: 

On Twitter:
Matt Holm can be found @mattholm
Jennifer Holm can be found @jenniholm

* Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays were started by Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe. You can check out her Marvelous Middle Grade Monday choice and Giveaway Post here.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Babymouse #13: Cupcake Tycoon

Author/Illustrators:  Jennifer L. Holm, Matt Holm
Publisher: Random House (September 28, 2010)
Ages: 9 to 12 (independent readers as young as first grade will enjoy Babymouse)
Pages: 96
Source: Personal Copy

Description from GoodReads:
The word is out. Kids love Babymouse—star of the popular, award-winning, hilarious, PINK graphic-novel series showcasing the trials and tribulations of elementary school. The sassy mouse with attitude to spare has charmed her way into the hearts of kids, parents, and teachers everywhere! The series has won multiple Children’s Choice awards, and one title was the first graphic novel EVER to be named an ALA Notable Children’s Book.

It's champagne wishes and cupcake dreams for Babymouse in Cupcake Tycoon. The school library is having a fund-raiser, and Babymouse is determined to raise the most money and WIN the GRAND PRIZE! Or . . . er, to help the school! The competition is fierce, but Babymouse will stop at nothing to get what she wants, even if it means outselling every last kid in school . . . including her nefarious nemesis, Felicia Furrypaws. The claws are out and the race is on in this absolutely PRICELESS Babymouse!

Last week of Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post, I reviewed Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm.  You can check out the review by clicking here.  I thought I would share with readers one of Jennifer's other creations - Babymouse.  Along with her brother Matt, this talented duo has created a graphic novel series that has middle graders wanting more.  

In the latest Babymouse installment - Cupcake Tycoon - we find our quirky and lovable protagonist raising funds for the school library.  Now we all understand that libraries need more funds and more books but of course in classic Babymouse style, she is sort of the reason why the library needs to raise money.  I won't give it away other than to say that her chronic (but enjoyable) daydreaming may be the cause of the problem.  Much to Babymouse's surprise the school fund-raiser is none other than CUPCAKES!!!  The student who sells the most cupcakes wins a surprise prize.  This sets in motion some friendly (and maybe not always friendly) competition between Babymouse and Felicia Furrypaws.  Will Felicia's well planned out and catchy sales campaign win or will Babymouse stumble upon just the right sales pitch?  Hilarity ensues and the reader is guaranteed to be a winner in the end.

I love Babymouse.  She is far from perfect.  Yet, she is someone that most children can relate with.  In Cupcake Tycoon, all of the regular characters are back, including that troublesome locker, her teacher who must wonder about all of her excuses, and the narrator.  Yes, the narrator that interacts with Babymouse and who often gives her a hard time.  Additionally, we get several glimpses at Babymouse's active fantasy life including Babymouse being the Lord of her own estate to an arm reaching down from heaven to whisk away a book to a daring adventure in Indiana Jones fashion.  

Though this is the 13th book in the Babymouse series, you don't necessarily need to read them in order.  And my guess is that many children don't.  They probably just grab the next book off of the shelf at the library.  However, consider yourself warned, if you do put a copy of Babymouse on your desk at school it will likely be taken/borrowed by the first student who spies it. 

Where on the web can you find more about Babymouse, Jennifer Holm, and Matt Holm:

Random House Official Babymouse Webpage: 

To download an official Babymouse Cupcake Recipe from the authors: 

On Facebook...I Heart Babymouse:!/group.php?gid=53572243216

Jennifer Holm's Babymouse Page: 

Matt Holm's Webpage: 

On Twitter:
Matt Holm can be found @mattholm
Jennifer Holm can be found @jenniholm

* Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays were started by Shannon over at Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe.  You can check out her Marvelous Middle Grade Monday choice and Giveaway Post here