Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Tony DiTerlizzi
My rating: 5 of 5
Diva is a tiny dog who takes her responsibilities in guarding 11 avenue Le Play very seriously–by barking sharply and running to hide every time feet approach. Flea is a large, adventurous flâneur of a cat who has seen everything there is to see in Paris and is still looking for more. One day, Flea wanders by Diva’s yard, and the two gradually begin striking up a friendship, one that will surprise and delight the both of them.
So, I pretty much died of cuteness overload before I ever opened the cover of The Story of Diva and Flea, and the entire book is just as adorable. Actually, the book design is exceptional with nice, thick paper, a gorgeous cover, and lovely page layouts and type styles throughout. I should note that this isn’t actually a picture book; it’s something like a (really classy) chapter book with illustrations. And the story is just precious, with lovable, interesting characters and some solid life-lessons that are easily picked up through the story but aren’t forced. The prose is elegant also, simple enough (for the most part) to be readable by younger readers, yet never over-simplified or stilted. I would highly recommend The Story of Diva and Flea as a read-aloud book to younger children, an early reader for children who are starting to want a challenge, and as a perfectly adorable story for pet-lovers of all ages.