Published by Thames & Hudson, 2019.
The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty is a delightful picture book. Five-and-a-half-year-old Eddie wants to get her mom something for her birthday. She has overheard a conversation and thinks that her mom wants a Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty so she resolves to get her one. The only trouble is she doesn’t know what one is or where to find one. She decides to ask her shopkeeper friends for help. None of them have the elusive Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty but they all give her a little something from their shop. These small items prove invaluable in Eddie’s quest.
I absolutely love Beatrice’s hand-drawn pencil and crayon illustrations. You can watch a fascinating video of Beatrice in her studio illustrating Eddie and Fluffy here. Beatrice also mixes photographs and book and newspaper print into her illustrations. This adds extra interest and depth to her pictures. For the most part, Beatrice uses dark earthy tones but her illustrations are also shot through with the wonderful neon pink of Eddie’s coat.
The French setting is gorgeous – beautiful shop signage, period architecture, charming side streets and an inviting boulangerie with all sorts of delicious breads and cakes. There’s so much to look at: the bustling street scenes, a queue of shoppers (on a super fold out page), and tiny shops crammed full of curiosities.
The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty is a joy to read. I’ll definitely be reading more books by Beatrice Alemagna.
Suitable for children aged 3+
Thank you to Thames & Hudson for sending me this book to review.