Scieszka, J., & Smith, L. (1998). Squids Will Be Squids: Fresh morals, beastly tales. New York: Puffin Books.
A good break from or companion to Aesop's Fables. Squids Will Be Squids shares 18 silly fables that manage to be both relatable to kids and incorporate far-fetched ideas to amuse. The moral accompanying each story manages to be just the right amount of ridiculous to get kids laughing out loud. Issues explored including saving a huge history project to the last minutes, dealing with that squid-like friend who never agrees to games everyone else wants to play and figuring out who exactly caused that stink in the air.
The illustrations are fun and in similar style to Scieszka and Smith's other collaborations. As with The Stinky Cheese Man and Math Curse, the picturebook is heavy on the (HUGE) text and structured like a chapter book, so it can be a good transition to a first chapter book. If a teacher is looking for another Aesop stepping stone, Paul Rosenthal's Yo, Aesop! Get a Load of These Fables (1998) is an even longer grouping of modernized fables.
Activities to Do with the Book:
Students could write their own fables in response to the examples shown by Scieszka and Smith.
Since "Frog's New Shoes" considers the fact that ads cannot always be trusted, a teacher could use this to start a discussion on products children have bought and been disappointed by. This could even turn into a short lesson on writing letters to companies about truth in advertising. "Piece of Toast and Froot Loops" could trigger a discussion on healthy eating habits. Not that anyone would want to get too serious with this book.
Based off of the story "Rock, Paper, Scissors," a class could arrange to have a rock paper scissors championship during recess. A teacher could incorporate this into a lesson on odds in math class or into a discussion on teamwork.
This is a fun light read to encourage enjoyment, especially if a child has previously been forced to supper through a dryer version of Aesop's fables.
“This book, Squids Will Be Squids, is a collection of fables that Aesop might have told if he were alive today and sitting in the back of class daydreaming and goofing around instead of paying attention and correcting his homework like he was supposed to, because his dog ate it and he didn'ts= have time to run out and buy new paper and do it over again before his bus came to pick him up in the morning."
"My tentacles are too tired."
"He who smelt it, dealt it."