The Story of Diva and Flea
Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children, 2015
Source: Personal purchase
Diva is a little dog living in a grand old apartment building in Paris. She watches the world from the courtyard, where she is safe from stomping feet. Diva has a very big job. She is the gardienne’s dog, “which meant that she is practically responsible for the whole of 11 avenue Le Play” (pg. 4). She takes this job – and life – very seriously. There is much that a serious (not to call it scared) little dog can miss in life.
Flea is a cat living on the street, a wanderer who visits all the streets and alleys and bridges of the city. Flea has had many adventures. He loved having those adventures but he knows that there is always more to discover, including the benefits of not wandering but of having a fixed home.
Diva and Flea meet at the courtyard of 11 avenue Le Play and eventually become friends. There is much for each to learn for they have very different lives and each brings a new richness to the other’s life.
With beautifully illustrated pictures, mostly done in black and white but with the addition of a few muted tones of green and red, The Story of Diva and Flea is warm and fuzzy but still challenges all of us to go beyond our usual limits. As Flea says, “(it) may be weird,…But it is also a little bit magic” (pg. 52).
For more information:
Tony DiTerlizzi’s official website
Mo Willems’ official website
***** 5/5 stars
One little dog with a big voice. One big cat with a little voice. One dead mouse peace offering. One firm friendship – all together in the city of gay Paris.