Thursday, March 7, 2013

Don't Squish the Sasquatch!

Booklist (July 2012 (Vol. 108, No. 21))

Grades K-2. This one doesn’t make a lick of sense—and it’s all the better for it. Señor Sasquatch is the first monster aboard Mr. Blobule’s bus. “I hope it doesn’t get too crowded,” Sasquatch says. “I do not like to get squished!” That’s rather unfortunate, considering the five enormous monsters that get on at the next five stops, including such gargantuan guests as Miss Elephant Shark, Mr. Goat-Whale, and Miss Loch-Ness-Monster-Space-Alien. Thus, Redeker’s read-aloud pattern is set: a monster gets on; the bus driver shouts, “DON’T SQUISH THE SASQUATCH!!!”; rinse; and repeat. Staake’s bright digital illustrations keep everything slanted and off-kilter, though even the absurd art can’t prepare readers for the head-scratching finale. Sasquatch gets squished, the bus explodes (in a four-page foldout), and then each monster must smooch Sasquatch back to life. Well, whatever; it’s all goofy good fun. Until the group hug that ends the celebration—what did we say about being squished?

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