Bug in A Vacuum

Bug in A Vacuum

Book - 2015
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A bug flies through an open door into a house, through a bathroom, across a kitchen and bedroom and into a living room.where its entire life changes with the switch of a button: it is sucked into the void of a vacuum bag! The bug moves through denial, bargaining, anger, despair and eventually acceptance - the five stages of grief - as it comes to terms with its fate. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel? Will there be dust bunnies in the void? A funny, suspenseful and poignant look at the travails of a bug trapped in a vacuum.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Tundra Books, [2015]
ISBN: 9781770496453
Branch Call Number: JP Watt
Characteristics: 1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm

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marthabwaters
Jan 20, 2016

So the point of this book is ostensibly to teach kids the five stages of grief. There are (older) kids who will understand that, and who might find this helpful, but even if you ignore the more serious undertones, this is a lovely, funny book. The illustrations are wonderful and very detailed, and it's offbeat and weird in a way that I found appealing. In short, I think this book works on multiple levels.

Technically, this is a child's first introduction into the stages of grief. It is very cute and very funny. It's contains a serious message done in the most lighthearted of ways. I love Melanie Watt.

m
mmcbeth29
Sep 26, 2015

SUMMARY: An unsuspecting fly gets sucked up into a vacuum. At the same time, the household dog's favorite toy also gets sucked in there. The fly goes through the five stages of grief while in the dark and dusty place--as does the dog in his own doggie way. Just when it seems things are going to get worse for the fly, there is a light at the end of the tunnel and life starts anew. Both doggie and fly get a good ending scenario, but in different ways.

ILLUSTRATIONS: The illustrations were created in mixed media. They are a strange blend of fantasy and reality that reminds me of the retro 60s. There is plenty of lovely texture and details. Once in the vacuum, the pictures become more dark and a bit muddy making them harder to follow.

THE GOOD: I had mixed feelings about this unusual book. A+ for creativity. I mean, who often thinks about what happens to those things we suck up in the vacuum? And then to turn it into a lesson on grief is fascinating. The illustrations are gorgeous and a delight to look at.
THE NOT AS GOOD: The book takes a turn and becomes an illustrated guide for the five stages of grief. I didn't get it at first, when stage one was illustrated with an aerosol can, and had to go back and make sure I was really seeing what I was seeing (an explanation at the beginning of the book instead of the end would have helped here). Then the fly's text becomes rather erratic and there are attempts at humor that don't quite hit the spot (perhaps that's the point?). I did not enjoy the text as much as I enjoyed the pictures. Great premise, but the whole package didn't come together for me as much as I would have liked.

AGE RECOMMENDATION: Advertized for ages 5-9, but I don't know that the younger ones will quite get all the points unless you ask them lots of questions along the way. Grades 2-5 would be better. This is a heavy and long book (at 96 pages) although there is not a lot of text. This is a good book for classroom use to teach the stages of grief as well as one on one. I would not recommend this book while a child is in the middle of a serious grief situation.

NOTE: I received a a free copy of this book from Librarything and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My reviews are always honest based on preset criteria.

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mmcbeth29
Sep 26, 2015

mmcbeth29 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 6 and 10

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