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Roberto: The Insect Architect [NOOK Book]

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, ...
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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.

No one will hire Roberto the architect because he also happens to be a termite, so he sets off to the city to find success on his own.

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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: 4/9/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,260,145
  • Age range: 3 months - 12 years
  • File size: 15 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Nina Laden grew up in the New York City area. The daughter of two artists, she studied illustration at Syracuse University. She is the author and illustrator of The Night I Followed the Dog, also published by Chronicle Books.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 28, 2011

    My kids favorite book!

    My boys are now 9 and 12 and still like this book. My 19mo old daughter loves it to and as a parent I still enjoy reading it. Pictures are great too. Lots of detail and a great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2009

    Roberto friends think he is biting off more than he can chew by choosing to become an architect.

    This witty tale is rife with puns, and gives children an idea about what an architect, and maybe a city planner, do. The illustrations are cleaver as is the play on words, so the book is not only enjoyable for children but also for the adult reader. It encourages creativity as well as career awareness and thinking outside the box.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2005

    Fantastic childrens' book for parents and young ones!

    This book is wonderful for children and adults of all ages. Within the story about Roberto, Nina Laden gives children positive messages about seeking their dreams and never giving up hope. Plenty of detailed, fun pictures for your young ones to explore.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2002

    Very cool

    This is a very cool book that may actually appeal more to adults than to children. The caricatures of famous 20th-century architects are priceless.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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