Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 5 to 9
- Grade: k to 4
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. Sucked into the void of a vacuum bag, this one little 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.
About the author
La jeune auteure-illustratrice Mélanie Watt, née à Trois-Rivières, a remporté pour son travail de prestigieuses récompenses, dont le Prix Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz, le Prix Blue Spruce et le Prix Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon, tous les trois pour Frisson l'écureuil.
It was in a design class taught by Michèle Lemieux at the University of Quebec in Montreal that author and illustrator Mélanie Watt created her first picture book, Leon the Chameleon, which was later published by Kids Can Press. Watt went on to create several more books, including the Learning with Animals collection and Augustine, which was named an ALA Notable Children's Book. Watt has also illustrated Where Does a Tiger-Heron Spend the Night? and Bearcub and Mama, which won the 2006 IRA Teachers” Choices Project.
Mélanie's best known book, Scaredy Squirrel, has won many awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children”s Book Award for Children”s Picture Book and the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator”s Award. The release of Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend was met with enthusiastic reviews and incredible sales, confirming the arrival of kid lit's newest superstar. Chester, Chester's Back! and Chester's Masterpiece are about a megalomaniac cat who is every bit the antithesis to Scaredy. Chester has already become a bestseller, and shows the breadth and creativity of Mélanie Watt.
Scaredy returns to take a few more tentative steps out of his comfort zone in Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach and Scaredy Squirrel at Night. Mélanie has often noted how the Scaredy Squirrel books helped her work out her own insecurities and fears, as the success of these titles has required her to venture out into the unknown, and like Scaredy she has found the experience truly uplifting.
Mélanie currently resides near Montreal, Quebec.
- Short-listed, QWF Prize for ChildrenÂ’s and Young Adult Literature
- Short-listed, Cybils
“A bug flies indoors, is sucked into a vacuum, and experiences the five stages of grief while entrapped. The narrative plays it straight, but the double-page spreads—over 40 of them—tell a far livelier story .... [Watt] includes a clever, visually parallel story about the household's dachshund, whose favorite toy, a knitted, button-eyed dog, suffers the same fate as the bug .... Another funny, visually rollicking work from the creator of Chester and Scaredy Squirrel." - Kirkus Reviews
“The double-page artwork cleverly illustrates these traumatic events with a muted palette and cute, cartoony characters. Much of the humor is tongue-in-cheek. There is plenty of detail in the illustrations that will evoke adult chuckles and encourage children to look closer .... The award-winning author of the “Scaredy Squirrel” series (Kids Can) is back with an equally engaging, if a bit more sophisticated, picture book to delight audiences.” - School Library Journal
”Mélanie Watt’s retro-styled illustrations are kitschy, cool, mid-modern masterpieces . . . Bug in a Vacuum is original, witty, and moving.” - Quill & Quire
“In a story heady and intellectually ambitious enough for a jaded adult, yet suited to a child’s down-to-earth appetites, a wide-eyed fly gets vacuumed up .... There’s a journey, yes, into the light, but it’s a happy ending that may just prompt sheer joy at the simple fact of being alive.” - The New York Times
“This book is so eloquently written and illustrated, so carefully and tenderly crafted. . . Highly recommended.” - The Globe and Mail
Other titles by Mélanie Watt
Scaredy Squirrel Gets a Surprise
Scaredy Squirrel In a Nutshell
Frisson l'écureuil se prépare pour Noël
Frisson l'écureuil se prépare pour l'Halloween
Frisson l'écureuil en camping
Frisson l’écureuil en bref
Frisson l’écureuil en bref
Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping
La mouche dans l'aspirateur
Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party
Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween
A Safety Guide for Scaredies