Another in the impressive Chronicle series of children's books, Roberto, the Insect Architect is the latest invention of author/artist Nina Laden, the fascinating tale of a wee mite ("termite, that is"), who grows up wanting to build things out of wood, not just feast on it, going against the grain of family obligations. Roberto aspires to make a name for himself, much like those he so admires, Hank Floyd Mite and Fleas van der Rohe, but he is discouraged when his parents complain that Roberto he has "bitten off more than he can chew" this time. Against all odds, Roberto sets out for the big city, where he draws inspiration for his designs from all manner of creepy crawlers.
Unfortunately, Robert's heroes, Hank Floyd Mite and Fleas van der Rohe, have no time to spare for an unknown architect, but Roberto remains undaunted, believing in himself. Soon he has designed a unique variety of dwellings, works of art that are also functional: the ladybug gets a fireproof home to keep her children safe, the carpenter ant a workshop for his projects, an abode for the house fly, even a habitable dwelling for the roaches. With perseverance and an inventive spirit, Roberto the Architect proves that anything is possible when there is determination and talent. Roberto achieves his goals and the world is better for it, all in a spirit of community. This clever story of creativity and inspiration, teaches a valuable lesson about believing in our dreams. Luan Gaines/2005.