Thursday, February 26, 2009

Roberto the Insect Architect

One of my favorite post-layoff books so far is "Roberto the Insect Architect."  Yes, it's a children's book.  But it's full of witticisms to keep adults happy, too.  It tells the story of young Roberto, a termite that prefers playing with his food rather than eating it.  Of course, we've all been there, pushing icky peas around on our plates in the hopes that some will roll off said plate and onto the floor for our dogs to eat, but Roberto actually BUILDS things with his food.  Houses, to be exact.

Roberto has great ambitions, but eventually, he learns that the best way to be appreciated by the public is to help those in need.  Despite the putdowns of such lauded architects as Frank Lloyd Mite and Fleas Van Der Rohe, Roberto finds fame and a personal sense of well-being in helping those in need (a ladybug whose house burned down, roaches evicted from their diner/home).

The illustrations are incredible: collages incorporate allusions to architectural masters (the architects for whom Roberto wants to work each have desks reminiscent of one of their star buildings) and the amount of detail draws the eye around the page.  There's always something new to discover.

I would definitely recommend the book to building enthusiasts of all ages.  By far one of my post-layoff literary giants.

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