Roberto: The Insect Architect

Roberto: The Insect Architect

by Nina Laden
     
 

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Ever since he was a wee mite (a termite, that is), Roberto has wanted to be an architect. Discouraged by his wood-eating family and friends, he decides to follow his dream to the big, bug city. There he meets a slew of not-so-creepy, crawly characters who spark in him the courage to build a community for them all.

With stunning collage illustrations and witty… See more details below

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Overview

Ever since he was a wee mite (a termite, that is), Roberto has wanted to be an architect. Discouraged by his wood-eating family and friends, he decides to follow his dream to the big, bug city. There he meets a slew of not-so-creepy, crawly characters who spark in him the courage to build a community for them all.

With stunning collage illustrations and witty text, the creator of the bestselling The Night I Followed the Dog, Private I. Guana, and When Pigasso Met Mootisse brings to life a funny and inspirational story that will encourage readers of any age to build their dreams. Plus, this version includes audio and a read-along setting.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A sometimes heavy-handed and knowing story about a humble small-town termite who "went against the grain." A trial to his parents, Roberto "melted over maple." But he wanted to play with wood . . . not eat it. Pining for bright lights, Bug City, he travels to "Bug Central Station, in the [city's] busy, buzzing hive . . . where the other termites wouldn't bug you." He lives in a "flea bag" hotel and even rooms with a family of bed bugs for whom "he built . . . their very own beds." With no luck finding an architecture gig, he meets a sobbing houseless fly and a frantic ladybug that cries, "My house is on fire and my children are gone!" Inspired by adversity he draws plans and soon turns a junk-filled lot into a block of custom housing for his homeless friends. Fame and fortune follow and soon he's an international sensation and an inspiration to creative young termites everywhere. Printed on slick, thick paper, the book features arresting mixed-media collage illustrations that cleverly employ catalog and magazine photos, wood and cork veneers, blueprints, and touches of gouache. Like Laden's earlier solo work When Pigasso Met Mootisse (1998) and Private I Guana (1995), this entry is satire-heavy with abundant sight gags and snappy wordplay. There are ample references to skylines (New York's Empire State Building coexists with the Tower of Pisa, San Francisco cable cars and the Space Needle), news personalities ("Barbara Waterbugs" and "Diane Spider") and architects ("Hank Floyd Mite" and "Fleas Van Der Rohe"). Fun for those in elementary school who just can't hold out for the next Scieska and Smith collaboration or who will love to discover the hidden pictures-within-the-pictures. BuyforLaden's many adult fans or those who particularly admire her wry illustrations for Walter Deans Myers's new Blues of Flats Brown (p. 121). (Picture book. 7-9) Lester, Julius ALBIDARO AND THE MISCHIEVOUS DREAM Illus. by Jerry Pinkney Fogleman/Putnam (32 pp.) Oct. 2000

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452127231
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
04/09/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
692,678
File size:
15 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 Months to 12 Years

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