Review: Bug in a Vacuum

Posted on August 17, 2015


Bug in Vacuum coverBug in a Vacuum
By Mélanie Watt
Tundra Books
August 2015
96 pages

Mélanie Watt incorporates the five stages of grief, also known as the Kübler-Ross model, into this simple, sweet story about a fly that gets sucked up in the vacuum cleaner. Over forty elaborate 2-page spreads bathed in color, detail, and melodrama tell the amusing inside story. Sadly for Napoleon the dachshund, his red stuffed dog suffers the same sudden catastrophe as the bug. With the switch of a button the bug’s world and Napoleon’s life are changed forever. Each stage of grief is cleverly depicted as a product selling a momentary respite from the intense emotion. Denial is a can of repellent spray that “wipes out the ugly truth.” Bargaining is a box of detergent to “wash away your troubles.” Anger is a frozen dinner that is “quick and messy.” Next up there’s despair contained in a book of sad stories. Finally we find acceptance in a box of tissues offering comfort and “no regrets.” Watt takes readers into the belly of the vacuum cleaner to watch the bug chew up the scenery as he laments and agonizes through his misfortune with a plethora of pathos. Even though Napoleon suffers in silence, his valiant rescue attempt creates a pathway to freedom and a new life for everyone. While Bug in a Vacuum pokes fun at the fickle finger of fate, it also shines a ray of hope in a world that sometimes sucks.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Peggy Tibbetts

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