Obtained: Penguin Random House, ARC
Publish date: August 25, 2015
So I’m not one to spend my time reading children’s picture books. I read to gain knowledge and appreciation for someone’s art, not to learn my ABCs. But Bug in a Vacuum by Melanie Watt is not that kind of picture book. It is a book that discusses the Kubler-Ross theory of the stages of grief in a way that is both child-friendly and uplifting.
Simply put, Bug in a Vacuum tells the story of a fly who gets trapped inside a vacuum and has to experience the stages of grief until he is finally able to cope with what has happened – the stages being denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance. But digging deeper, this book is a gem. The symbolism in Watt’s drawings is absolutely wonderful, creating these striking metaphors that really resonated with me.
As I was reading, I honestly wanted to take notes and write an essay just based on the deep imagery and symbolism in this book – an activity I don’t often feel the need to do while reading even the most heavy novels on my shelf. It was so gorgeous. And the ending made my sometimes-Grinchy heart grow three sizes.
If you are someone who has a child in their life (son, daughter, niece, brother, whoever it may be!), I highly recommend buying this as a gift for them… But first sneaking a read for yourself.
(And if anyone wants to see my essay on this book, let me know. I can make that a thing.)