Bug in a Vacuum

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Author/Illustrator: Melanie Watt

Publisher/Date: Tundra Books 2015

Number of pages: 45

Genre: Fiction



A fly is accidentally sucked into a vacuum and goes through the five stages of grief. After he experiences the final stage, which is acceptance, his luck changes, and he finds a way out of the vacuum.

This book is an informative piece on the different stages that people go through when they experience loss or a traumatic event in their life. This book can serve as a mirror for children who may be experiencing the same feelings as the fly. It also serves as a door to lead children to learn how to cope with these feelings that they might face in the future. Moreover, the book is a window for those who may not have experienced a loss or upsetting event but may know someone who has. It can teach children to understand how another person may be feeling, therefore, helping that person cope with his/her struggle(s).

The illustrations are not framed, so the reader is in on the action as the story progresses.The colors in the pictures are mostly shades of green. The color green can symbolize many thoughts or ideas, but in this particular story, green could symbolize growth. As the story progresses, the fly goes through different stages in the vacuum, and as he is trapped, he finally learns to accept things the way they are; therefore, growing and maturing. Green is also seen as the color for rebirth (associated with nature). Since green is so heavily used in the pictures, it almost foreshadows the fly’s fate as he is “reborn” with a different perspective on life.