Monday, October 19, 2015

Picture Book Monday with a review of Bug in a Vacuum

Most of us, once in a while, experience a change in our life that has a profound effect on us. We lose someone we love, are forced to leave a job or a home, or get sick. For a time everything that once felt safe and familiar does not feel safe at all and we are temporarily adrift.

In today's picture book we meet a bug who gets sucked into a vacuum cleaner. To say that this is a terrible experience for the bug is an understatement. It is a life changing disaster, and the bug goes through a series of emotional upheavals as it tries to come to terms with what has happened to it. As they read this book readers will come to appreciate that any drastic change can tip anyone, even a bug, over the edge into a very scary place.

Bug in a VacuumBug in a Vacuum
Melanie Watt
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Tundra Books, 2015, 978-1-77049-645-3
One day a bug decides to explore a house and it flies in a door. It buzzes through the bathroom, past the kitchen, across the bedroom and then finally alights on a globe that is sitting on a desk in the sitting room. What the bug does not know is that someone in the house is wielding a vacuum cleaner, and this person creeps up to where the bug is resting, and sucks the bug up using the vacuum cleaner’s wand.
   Now the bug is inside the canister of the vacuum cleaner and it has no idea where it is. At first the bug thinks that it is in a wonderful place. Then is starts to get suspicious when it realizes that the place it is in is dark and very quiet. The bug then decides that it is in a dream and it pinches itself so that it will wake up. The pinch hurts and convinces the bug that, in fact, it is not dreaming. It really is in a dark, creepy place all on its own.
   Next the bug determines that its current situation is all a big mistake. It calls out that “you’ve vacuumed the wrong bug!” It even promises (in writing) that it will “avoid my favorite handouts” if the vacuum will let it go.
   After trying to bargain its way out if its dire predicament the bug loses its temper. Now it is angry and it starts to shout very loudly. When all its shouting gets it nowhere, the bug sinks into the depths of despair. “I’m a prisoner forever” it says. Its situation is “hopeless.”
   The bug then decides that all it can do is to accept what has happened and “make the best of things.” What the bug doesn’t know is that the vacuum cleaner itself is about to experience a big change, and the bug will be going along for the ride.
   This unique, often amusing book take a look at the stages a bug goes through after experiencing an unexpected change in its life. It has lost its freedom and is trapped in a lonely dark place, and it experiences a range of emotions, which are collectively known as the five stages of grief.
   Readers are going to thoroughly enjoy seeing how the bug copes (and sometimes doesn’t cope) with what has happened to it, and they will enjoy seeing how the bug’s story ends

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