Fans of Scaredy Squirrel are sure to be charmed by author Mélanie Watt’s newest offering, Bug in a Vacuum. This picture book, which will be released on August 25th, takes readers young and old on an unexpectedly touching and hilarious journey through the five stages of grief.
A little bug was just wandering around when he found himself in quite the predicament. He was sucked into a vacuum cleaner! Surely this couldn’t be happening (denial). Maybe he could make a deal with the vacuum (bargaining)…or fight his way out (anger). But no, it’s hopeless; he’s stuck here forever (despair). He may as well accept his new home an make the best of things (acceptance). Or could there be hope for life outside this dreary vacuum cleaner after all?
While this very cute little bug is dealing with his new surroundings inside a vacuum, the family dog is going through the five stages of grief on the outside. His favorite toy is also inside this pesky appliance, and the dog really wants it back. He’s heartbroken at the thought of never seeing his toy again…but the dog may encounter something to take his mind off his troubles.
While I think older readers may appreciate Bug in a Vacuum more than many children, this book has something to delight everyone. In my opinion, the illustrations are the highlights of the book. They are gloriously detailed, and readers are certain to find something new upon every viewing. There aren’t very many words in Bug in a Vacuum, but the author uses the few words present to perfectly depict what a little bug trapped in a vacuum may be feeling.
This book could be a fun read-aloud with young readers, but I really think older readers may get more out of it. I can even see Bug in a Vacuum being used in psychology courses–or in school counseling–to illustrate the five stages of grief.