"Even when Roberto was little, he went against the grain. Like most termites, he melted over maple, and pined for pine. Oak was okay, too. But Roberto didn't eat his food. He played with it."
Young Roberto has a burning desire to become an architect. Even when the other termites mock his ambition, Roberto is never derailed from his dream. So, like so many career-minded youth, this mite with a mission sets off for the big, buggy city. Here, sadly, he is thwarted by his heroes, Hank Floyd Mite and Fleas Van Der Rohe. But this inspired insect decides not to wallow in his sorrows but to help out other bugs with even greater problems. Soon, a fantastic, eclectic housing development is in the works. The mysterious architect chooses to remain anonymous, but ultimately can't avoid the grateful adulation of the carpenter ants, ladybugs, and house flies he has helped.
Nina Laden's fantastic collages use old catalog and magazine images, blueprints, cork veneer, and lots more, to create buildings, cities, and buggy creatures the likes of which you've never seen. The Leaning Tower of Pisa tilts away from the Empire State Building, with Gaudi's quirky sculptural edifices looming nearby. Some of the hilarious wordplay may fly over the heads of non-architects, but the overall humorous effect--and the go-for-your-goals message--will not be lost on anyone. For more charming and artistic pun-ishment, try Laden's When Pigasso Met Mootisse. (Ages 6 to 11) --Emilie Coulter
This good-natured tale, whose striking collages incorporate wood products and city photographs, introduces a termite who "went against the grain.... Roberto didn't eat his food. He played with it." While other termites picnic on "wood chips" and shotgun shacks, Roberto yearns to build with boards. He also exhibits a philanthropic streak. His first project is a neighborhood for homeless bugs, including a fireproof stone dwelling for a ladybug whose first house, per the nursery rhyme, burned down. Laden (When Pigasso Met Mootisse) wittily imagines a termite with a social conscience, one who ensures that bedbugs have "their very own beds." She incorporates woodworking tools into her bug-themed spreads and creates furniture from carefully cropped pieces of cork and veneer. Ant-like Roberto hunches over a mahogany-brown drafting table, busily drawing blueprints for a milk-carton shelter and a conical hive with neat circular windows. Even if children don't get the gags about Hank Floyd Mite (seated at a Guggenheim-shaped desk with a sketch of Fallingwater) and Fleas Van Der Rohe, nonstop insect quips and humorous bug house illustrations keep this book buzzing along. Ages 2-6. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book has the most creative illustrations I've ever seen. It is so imaginative. What a delightful book.Published 11 months ago by cynandcraig
Very nice illustrations and a funny story with a good message. My kid liked it. Wish we'd bought it in paper edition.Published 13 months ago by L. A. P. Badolato
I love this book- as an architect, I do try to get kids started young. This book is wonderful. The story is entertaining and the collages are beautiful and engaging.Published 19 months ago by Kim
I love Nina Laden's books she authored and illustrates. There are no stereotypes in her books, pure connection with the readers.Published 20 months ago by Nina JochnowiTz
My first graders love this book and I can tie in several standards through activities created around the book. Great buy.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic picture book! One of Nina Laden's best books, filled with beautiful illustration, fun bits of architecture, and selfless action. A favorite read...Published on June 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer