The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy by Beatrice Alemagna (September 2015).
First, the neon pink in this book! You’ll see it on the opening endpapers and it is bright bright bright! Then you can watch for it throughout the story. On little Eddie’s jacket. And then, in the conclusion, on the wonderful fluffy little squishy for which the book is a quest. That neon pink connects these two characters. It tells us they were meant to be united.
(click image(s) to enlarge)
We immediately love and know Eddie because she thinks she can’t do anything (who can’t relate?). And that she has a big heart. When she hears “birthday—Mommy—fuzzy—little—squishy” from her sister’s mouth, she wants to give her mother something very special. She sets off to look for that very fuzzy little squishy thing that she believes must exist.
“The whole book stems from the character of Fluffy. One day, out of nowhere, I drew this kind of electrified dog and I instantly felt the need to tell its story.”
Eddie searches her town, going to store owners who might have just the thing. I love Eddie’s independence and her relationship with the shopkeepers, each of whom gives her something for her journey (a clover, a rare stamp). (Oh, and look out for tiny spots of hot pink on some spreads—I’m looking at you especially, antique shop.) But of course, as in real life, there’s one adult Eddie is not friendly with. Because he’s a meanie! (And kind of scary!)
“I always want to tell the same story: a fragile being that finds great strength within himself.”
And just like those magical times in real life, it is in the moment of wanting to give up that Eddie finds what she’s been looking for. The exact embodiment of those words she heard. Fuzzy and little and squishy (and neon pink!).
Eddie still has obstacles to overcome after that, but with the help her shopkeeper friends’ tokens, she does overcome them. Eddie discovers that she is good at something: finding an awesome gift for her mom.
That Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy and Eddie. They are the heart of this book. And this book has a lot of electric pink heart!
Big thanks to Enchanted Lion Books for those first three images!
This is a book that cries out for a craft. A wonderful fluffy little squishy for your very own! And it turns out hot pink tulle is the perfect material for making one. (If I can make one, that means it’s easy to do too.)
What you need:
A roll of tulle (I found mine at a Joann craft store). Pink!
Two pipe cleaners. Pink!
Construction paper. Pink!
A small pom pom. Pink!
Two googly eyes.
Plus, scissors, fabric glue, tape, and a book. That’s it.
Wrap your tulle around a book (I used the very book!) 20 times. (You can make a smaller fluffball by using a smaller book.)
Slide the oval of tulle off and tie a length of tulle around its middle to make a kind of bow. (Don’t knot it too tightly—you’ll need to be able to stick a pipe cleaner under there later.)
Cut through the rounded parts on each side so the tulle sprays out in all directions, then trim it all around to be a bit more uniform. (You can be messy, which is great. Just be careful as well.) Here’s a tulle pom pom tutorial that may help.
Insert one pipe cleaner into the knotted tulle in the middle of the pom pom. Hook it around and secure it. (Be careful as those pipe cleaner ends are sharp!)
Make the face by cutting a square of pink construction paper and rolling it into a cone; then flatten it. Glue on googly eyes and a pom pom nose. Tape or glue a halved pipe cleaner to the inside of the cone. Insert the other end of the pipe cleaner into the knot of tulle length and secure it carefully so it sticks.
Voila! Wonderful fluffball!
Speaking of pink picture book crafts, you may be interested in my Rude Cakes post.