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Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.
For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France-but at no fixed address. When Flea flâneurs past Diva's courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.
About the Author
Mo Willems (www.pigeonpresents.com), a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, has been awarded a Caldecott Honor on three occasions (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity). Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! was also an inaugural inductee into the Indies Choice Picture Book Hall of Fame. The celebrated Elephant & Piggie early-reader series has been awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal on two occasions (for There Is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside?) as well as garnering four Honors (for We Are in a Book!, I Broke My Trunk!, Let's Go for a Drive! and A Big Guy Took My Ball!).
Tony DiTerlizzi (www.diterlizzi.com), a number-one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, created the middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black, which has sold millions of copies, been translated into more than 30 languages and made into a feature film. He won a Caldecott Honor for illustrating The Spider & The Fly, and in 2014 he teamed up with Lucasfilm to retell the original Star Wars trilogy in a picture book featuring artwork by Academy award-winning concept artist, Ralph McQuarrie. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts with his wife, daughter and dog, Mimi.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Diva, the dog, lives in a luxury apartment, in a large house in Paris, France. She lives with Eva, her owner, who is the gardienne of the apartment building, meaning that she looks after it, inside and out. Flea, the cat, doesn’t have a fixed abode. He lives on the streets, doesn’t have an owner and is a flaneur, someone (or somecat), who wanders the streets, bridges and alleys of the city to see what there is to see. One day Flea walks past the courtyard of the apartment building where Diva lives. Diva comes rushing over to the fence, and barks at Flea. Flea finds this funny, so he goes back day after day just to laugh at Diva’s barking. Diva finds this upsetting, as he doesn’t like Flea laughing at him. Flea realises this and decides to apologise. The two soon become firm friends. Flea tells Diva all about what he has seen on his travels, and invites Diva to join him. Diva has never been outside the courtyard before, and is apprehensive, but decides to go. In return Diva shows Flea what it’s like to have a home, and food made especially for you, and not to be afraid of the ‘broom’ that Flea is scared of, as everywhere he goes, people shoo him with one. Diva and Flea, is a beautiful story of friendship, and how it can be found in the most unusual circumstances, with people, (or animals), that you would never dream of being friends with. The book is a simple, yet riveting story. It is superbly told, and grabs your interest from the very first page. The characters are both very likeable, and the plot, most certainly enjoyable. I also liked that the book was broken down into short chapters. The illustrations are divine. Tony Diterlizzi, the illustrator, has really captured the essence of the book. The pictures adorn every page, with some pages being completely illustrated. This is a sweet book, that will have children smiling, and enjoying every minute of it. I would say it would be perfect for children aged between 7 and 10.
The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems is a wonderfully cute and unforgettable tale of discovery. Diva the dog, a flee the streetwise cat form an unlikely friendship forms. My daughter absolutely loves this book. I love that it's a chapter book and is a great way to introduce children to chapter books because they chapters are fairly short and fun to read. The illustrations throughout the book are adorable and go right along with the story. This is a terrific book and would make a perfect gift for children ready to begin reading chapter books! Disclosure: I received product(s) for free, in exchange for my honest review. I only recommend products I've used personally, and believe will be good fit for consumers.
What I thought: This was an amazing book! I thought it was really cool how Mr. Willems partnered with Tony DiTerlizzi because he was searching for the perfect illustrations for his story. It is a great transition book for kids moving up from picture books or early readers. There is a nice contrast of words and pictures that make the 80 pages go by in a breeze. There is a lot of humor in the book, like Flea telling Diva to say “Meow”, and Flea’s pronunciation of words. I was also happy to see one Pigeon book reference, on a poster at the subway scene. That made me smile while I was reading it. I think that as a whole, Mr. Willems and Mr. DiTerlizzi make a fantastic team. I would be thrilled to see more of their collaborations! I really enjoyed reading this great story of friendship! I found it pretty neat that Diva and Flea are real animals in France. *NOTE* I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Delightfully Cute Story for an Early Chapter Book As you might have noticed, I’ve become a huge fan of Mo Willems in the last few years. I try to keep up with all of his books, which is fairly easy because he usually writes delightful picture books. (No, seriously. If you’ve haven’t read any of them yet, take five minutes to read one.) So when I heard about The Story of Diva and Flea, I knew I had to give it a try. It’s no surprise to me that I loved it. This is a bit of a departure for Mo in two ways. First, it is for a slightly older audience than his typical easy reader books. It’s almost 70 pages long and includes chapters and more words than normal. Secondly, instead of doing the illustrations himself, Mo asked his friend Tony DiTerlizzi to do them. Neither of these is a weakness in the slightest, just something worth noting. The story centers around the unlikeliest of friends, a small dog named Diva and an ally cat named Flea. Diva lives in a small Paris apartment and stands guard in the courtyard every day. However, she is very timid and runs away at everything, including approaching feet. Flea, on the other hand, spends his days exploring the city of Paris and living by his wits. One day, Flea walks outside the courtyard and sees Diva. While at first he delights in teasing her, soon he is spending his days telling Diva about all the things he’s experienced. As their friendship grows, they each impact the other in significant ways. How exactly will their lives change? While there may be some changes from Mo’s normal books, there are some similarities. We get the power of friendship and how that can change you for the better. That’s a constant theme of his Elephant and Piggie books after all. Both Diva and Flea are good characters (especially for a short book), and it’s hard not to fall in love with them. The story is predictable for adults, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. I found myself touched by it, and I’m sure kids won’t figure out where it is going. Not that the book is filled with twists or surprises. It’s just a simple, touching story of how an unexpected friendship helped these two characters lead better lives. It’s truly such a sweet book with nothing that should frighten anyone. Each two page spread is filled with wonderful pen and ink illustrations by Tony. His artwork is beautiful and brings the story to life in a rich way. Most two page spreads are roughly half text and half picture, so the pages will still go by quickly, encouraging young readers since they will feel like they are making great progress in the book. My only hesitation is a couple of French words that Mo Willems uses. He gives plenty of context, so it’s easy to figure out what the words mean, but beginning readers might stumble a bit over the French words and their pronunciation. Then again, maybe that’s just me since I’ve always struggled with foreign languages. On the other hand, Flea has some very fun misunderstandings of words that will delight young readers. So if you are looking for a great book to transition your young reader toward chapter books, The Story is Diva and Flea will do just that. Everyone will be charmed with this delightful story.