Nel paese delle pulcette. Ediz. illustrata

by Beatrice Alemagna

Hardcover, 2009



Call number



Phaidon (2009), 44 pages


It is Little Fat Bug's birthday and he has invited all the little bugs in the blanket to his party. The little bugs have never met each other before and when Little Fat Bug opens the door to his guests, he is shocked to find that no one looks like him.

User reviews

LibraryThing member Smiler69
A wonderful story that celebrated diversity, this is a short tale of a flea who holds a party where all the guests start asking each other why they look the way they do: one has long legs, one is yellow, another has large eyes, one is a mix of colours and so on. Very original collage illustrations
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made with felted wool.
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LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
It's Little Fat Bug's birthday, and the hospitable insect has invited all of the other bugs living in his blanket to a party. When his guests arrive however, he is nonplussed to discover that none of them look in the least like himself. Asking his first guest, Little Think Bug, why he is so skinny,
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he sets off a round of similar questions, as each big asks the next an insensitive, judgemental question about his appearance. When the question chain finds its way back to Little Fat Bug, and he replies that he was born that way, the group of bugs realize that although they are all different, they are all just as they should be (being born that way), and that, most importantly, they can still have fun together...

Originally published in France as Au pays des petits poux, and translated into Engish by Anthea Bell, Bugs in a Blanket is the first of four picture-books devoted to the doings of these insect neighbors, with subsequent titles including Bugs in the Garden, The Bug Next Door and Bugs at Christmas. Unfortunately, although I have enjoyed almost all of Italian picture-book creator Beatrice Alemagna's other titles, and absolutely loved the innovative felt collage and mixed-media illustrations here, Bugs in a Blanket was still a disappointment for me. I thought the text was overly didactic, in a way that felt obvious and sometimes a little condescending. The message here, about tolerating others and not putting undue importance on appearance, is well meant, but the story itself just fell flat. This was quite a surprise to me, not only because I have (as mentioned) enjoyed other Alemagna titles, but because translator Anthea Bell usually produces lyrically beautiful texts. I'm tempted, despite my lukeworm response to Bugs in a Blanket, to try and track down the subsequent titles, to see if perhaps this was just a one-off, but I don't know that it will be a big priority. Recommended primarily to fans of the Alemagna's art, or to anyone who enjoys felt and other fabric-based illustrations.
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071485638X / 9780714856384
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