In the days approaching her mother’s birthday, five and a half year old Eddie (short for Edith) overhears her older sister saying the words “birthday – Mommy – fluffy – little – squishy,” which sends the youngster into her small town on a quest to track down the perfect present. She visits shop after shop, but none has that for which she is looking. She does, however, amass an increasingly strange selection of bibs and bobs, which come in handy in the end.
Author-illustrator Alemagna tells Eddie’s story using a decidedly 1960’s aesthetic, creating a supremely charming Paris neighbourhood in which Eddie can hunt for her elusive treasure. She fills every page right to the edge with wonderfully skewed details and a slightly muddy palette. Eddie herself is an adorable heroine, traipsing about in her puffy pink shawl, a shock of yellow-orange hair on her head. She possesses an engaging naivete, and we would love to see more of her in the future.
Alemagna is a popular children’s book author in her native France, though she hasn’t quite broken through in the North American market as of yet; with an existing catalogue of work the quality of The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy in her back pocket, it’s only a matter of time before she follows in the footsteps of Benjamin Chaud (with whom she certainly shares an aesthetic bent) and becomes a go-to illustrator over here as well.
Kinderlit.ca requested and received a copy of The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy in exchange for an honest review. Read about our Review Policy here.