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Roberto, the Insect Architect Hardcover – 1 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; Library Binding edition (1 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811824659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811824651
  • Product Dimensions: 26.7 x 1.3 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Nina Laden grew up in the New York City area. The daughter of two artists, she studied illustration at Syracuse University. She is the author and illustrator of The Night I Followed the Dog, also published by Chronicle Books.

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Even when Roberto was little, he went against the grain. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Sainsbury on 12 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is probably the best children's book ever written. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is original, funny, and packed full of witty writing that will enthrall adults and children alike. It is so clever and yet so childlike. My son didn't read until he was 7 but this was the boy that truly inspired him. A real joy - buy it now, you won't be disappointed
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By Louise Bullen on 17 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Quite lovely. 23 Aug. 2005
By Robert Beveridge - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Nina Laden, Roberto the Insect Architect (Chronicle, 2000)

There's something to be said for reading childrens' picture books every now and again. Childrens' authors can't get away with as much as adult authors can; for one thing, they generally have less room in which to get away with it (unless they are J. K. Rowling or Clive Barker, the vanguards of the burgeoning "childrens' doorstop" movement); for another, kids have an innate crap detector adults seem to get rid of as they get older. Reading chidlrens' books is a good way of grounding yourself, if you've gotten stuck in a rut of overly wordy stuff.

Roberto the Insect Architect is a fun one. (And note that a number of Amazon reviews of it have been posted by adults who own the book for themselves rather than their kids.) It's your basic "be yourself" kind of book, and reminds me in many ways of Randall Jarrell's brilliant The Bat-Poet. It's shorter, of course, being for a younger audience, and the points that are made are closer to the surface, but Laden still keeps things in hand by letting the story tell the story and giving visual cues that will make the reader of the intended age work (for example, Roberto's dream and its realization, which bookend the narrative in pictures instead of words). Worth reading for all ages. ****
23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
A Howard Roark for the termite set 14 Sept. 2000
By Xeneri - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Insect architects! This is an inspired little story with theunlikely prospect of a termite who dreams of building with wood instead of eating it.... Roberto sets off for the big buggy city in search of his dream.
The story is encouraging, and the wordplay witty but it's the fantastically funky collages that win you over. Laden uses all sorts of images... to create unreal insect edifaces. You'll find yourself staring at the quirky seussian architecture and chuckling at all the in-jokes.
A treat for the eyes and very fun!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
My architect husband loves this book! 8 Aug. 2003
By peachyqueen27 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
My husband just recently purchased this book. We both love it! I love the story line and how Roberto does not quite fit in with the other termites. He follows his dreams, and eventually, parent termites want their kids to be just like him! The illustrations in this book are also great!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An enterprising termite 17 Aug. 2005
By Luan Gaines - Published on
Format: Hardcover
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great Art Starter 21 Feb. 2009
By Suzette Morrow - Published on
Format: Hardcover
As an art teacher, I am always looking for ways to fire up the students before we begin our project. This book was a big hit with k-2nd grade students. We talk about what an Architect does and what a neighborhood is as well as different kinds of insects along the way through the story. The collage illustrations are big and clear for an entire class to see well. The media is also helpful to tie into for a class project of a collage too! After the story the children are so happy and excited. When I ask, "Would you like to be an architect too?" The children all exclaim, "YES!" Great job Nina! Please write more art related books!
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