President Squid (Aaron Reynolds)

Hello, friends! Today, we read President Squid, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Sara Varon, the tale of a squid who knows what he wants: to be the president of the United States!

Squid is positive that he deserves to be president. He even has a top five list of reasons why, such as 1) he looks great in a tie, and 4) he talks the most out of anybody. But he’ll come to find that being a leader is more than living in the biggest house and bossing people around. Will Squid be the greatest president ever, or is he all washed up?

Well, I’ll be honest: I am completely conflicted on this book. On the positive side: the dialogue is very silly and funny, and a hoot to read aloud. The illustrations are also a high point, being colorful and fun as well. However, there were some issues. First, Squid learns that helping people is part of being president, but instead of taking this to heart, he decides that he’d rather be king instead (“All the power! None of the work!” he concludes). Taken at face value, that’s a pretty awful message. And while the book is more likely intended as satire, well, very young readers probably won’t grasp that sort of nuance. And while the text is fun to read (save a cringe-worthy Titanic joke), the length is fine, and JJ enjoyed the voices and art, I was left pretty dissatisfied with it, overall. Maybe this was satire that would have been funnier if it weren’t quite so true. Regardless, I can’t say I recommend it for baby bookworms, despite its positive qualities. Not one of our favorites, which was a major bummer, as we usually adore Aaron Reynolds’ work (you should absolutely check out Nerdy Birdy or Here Comes Destructosaurus! instead).

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