Book Review of Squashed
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The Children’s Book Review
What to Expect: Halloween, family, spooky encounters, empathy.
Told through comic-book panel illustrations in Meaghan Tosi’s wonderfully evocative artwork, Squashed is a story about fear and difference but also empathy, shared desires, and common interests.
When a brother and sister find a mysterious group of scarecrows in the woods the night before Halloween, they should know better than to touch anything. But they can’t resist touching the pumpkin they find nearby on the ground, and when it starts shuddering, they decide to take it home. They make it a warm and comfortable bed and wait to see what will happen. However, that night, out in the woods, something wakes up. It wants to know where the pumpkin has gone, and it knows just where to start looking… what will happen to the kids when it finds them?
In this graphic novel, Meaghan Tosi uses a color palette of muted autumn colors that suggest the warmth of autumn and the spookiness of Halloween, echoing the narrative’s emphasis on overcoming fear through shared experience by tempering spookiness with coziness. The minimal text makes this an excellent book for developing readers while encouraging strong readers to build their visual interpretative skills.
Spooky (but not too spooky), Squashed is the perfect graphic novel for Halloween or any other time. Readers will fall for this spooktacular tale!
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About the Author-Illustrator
MEAGHAN TOSI, was born and raised in New Hampshire, earned a BFA from Laguna College of Art and Design, and illustrated this book and the middle-grade novel “Six Thousand Doughnuts” alongside author Thomas Tosi. She is also the author/illustrator of “Dweedy: The Imagined Adventures of My Deceased Cat.” She now lives with her partner Daniel and many plants in Portland, Oregon for the art scene, extraordinary hikes, and many neighborhood cats.
For more information, visit dooneypress.com.
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