Squid Kid the Magnificentby Lynne Berry, Luke LaMarca (Illustrator)
Oliver isn't an ordinary squid; he's Squid Kid the Magnificent! But his sister, Stella, will tell you otherwise. While Oliver performs various feats of magic-like vanishing in ink, or making dozens of squids suddenly appear-Stella sees right through each illusion, and is far from impressed. But the show must go on and Oliver has saved his best trick for his pesky
Oliver isn't an ordinary squid; he's Squid Kid the Magnificent! But his sister, Stella, will tell you otherwise. While Oliver performs various feats of magic-like vanishing in ink, or making dozens of squids suddenly appear-Stella sees right through each illusion, and is far from impressed. But the show must go on and Oliver has saved his best trick for his pesky sister.
PreS-Gr 1—He is not Oliver! He is Squid Kid the Magnificent and he will wow anyone who will watch with his amazing magical feats! He can disappear (in a cloud of ink), can make dozens of octopi appear out of thin air, and can turn a pink cuttlefish gold. Amazing, isn't it? Big sister Stella is unimpressed by her younger brother's tricks since these are things that ALL squids (and cuttlefish) can do. Bright, bold illustrations and funny, often rhyming text make this picture book an enjoyable read that often allows moments of audience participation when reciting Squid Kid's magic words of "Smelly, yellow jellyfish!" Librarians and parents alike will enjoy reading this book aloud to their children who will giggle through the entire adventure. VERDICT Fans of Berry's other picture books will delight in this one, which can be perfectly paired with Bob Shea's I'm a Shark! (HarperCollins, 2011). A must-have.—Paige Garrison, Aurora Central Public Library, CO
In supersaturated oceanic color, squidling Oliver, purple and with top hat and wand, becomes Squid Kid the Magnificent after saying the magic words: "smelly yellow jellyfish." His ponytailed, fuchsia older sister, Stella, is unimpressed. When Oliver disappears in a cloud of squid ink, Stella points out that it isn't magic—any squid can do it. Stella is particularly alarmed by Oliver's use of her pet cuttlefish, Cuddles, in his act, and she notes that "cuttlefish change colors ALL THE TIME," and that isn't magic either. Oliver soldiers on, trying one last trick, but Stella has a trick up her, er, tentacles, too. Oliver's magician's patter is quite fine, and Berry's good use of occasional internal rhyme and alliteration makes this a likely read-aloud. A couple of gatefolds add visual pop to the deep colors, and details charm. There's the occasional audience of a besotted clam (note the hearts), and a yellow puffer fish acts as silent sidekick to Oliver. It's hard to decide which is funnier: the single orthodontic bracket on Stella's beak or Oliver's magic chant. Delightful brother-and-sister snark in squid form—yes, really. (Picture book. 4-7)
Meet the Author
Lynne Berry (www.lynneberry.com/) graduated from Wellesley College in 1994 with a degree in biology, and then later received her PH.D. at Vanderbilt University in 1997. Though she enjoyed studying science, she decided to change careers and write for children. Her first book, Duck Skates, was published in 2005, followed by The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, Duck Dunks, Duck Tents, and Duck Wheels. She continues to write and looks forward to each new project.
Luke LaMarca (lukelamarca.blogspot.com/) has illustrated The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, by Lynne Berry and The Day Ray Got Away, by author Angela Johnson. He lives in Maryland.
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