The Story of Diva and Flea

“This is Diva’s story. For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France…Diva was the gardienne’s dog, which meant that Diva was practically responsible for the whole of 11 avenue Le Play, including the courtyard.” 

“This is Flea’s story. For a long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France. But, at no fixed address. Flea lived wherever he was, which usually was somewhere other than it had been the day before.” 

1484722841I discovered this book at my local library. Small, unassuming, and thin, it’s something that someone might easily overlook. But trust me, open it up and you will find a delightful story with a warm, clear narrative and wonderful illustrations. Here’s my official review of The Story of Diva and Flea:

Diva’s never ventured beyond the courtyard right outside her apartment building. Flea is a cat who never stays in one place. One day Flea discovers 11 avenue Le Play where a certain little dog barks at him, then hides. While he finds it hilarious, Diva becomes is curious and annoyed. To make up for what she thinks is poor behavior, Flea brings Diva a mouse. This is the beginning of a sweet friendship. Throughout the book, Diva and Flea learn to try new things, helping the other to conquer their fears and brave new surroundings. The story’s end is sweet and simple.

Masterfully told by Mo Willems and illustrated beautifully by Tony Diterlizzi, this definitely would rank among my top picks for the month. I’ve never had the chance to read anything by Mo Willems, but I know Tony Diterlizzi’s work well. He is one of my favorite modern illustrators, having a style that is at turns whimsical, queer, and fantastic. His books are also some of my favorites, having a Neverland-esque sense of eternal youth.

Chime Time: I just learned the word flaneur, meaning one who wanders around to experience things. Have any of you ever attempted to channel the flaneur spirit and wander around, whether in Paris or California?

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