Don’t get wrong, I thought the cockroach in “Wall-E” was adorable…but I hesitate to present them in a positive light overall. Especially in an urban, tropical setting like Singapore, where E is actually likely to be encounter them. Which leads me to Rochee, the friendliest cockroach.
The plot of the book is that our protagonist (the roach) wants to be friends with the little girl whose room he lives in. She doesn’t quite feel the same way. He tries cleaning himself, saying hi, etc…but on the penultimate page she steps on him. As she leans down to examine the carnage, she realizes she made a mistake…and as he’s still alive (of course he is) they can be friends!
While it would be nice to have someone in the house less freaked by the giant roaches than I, I do NOT want E seeing a cockroach and thinking to herself “gee, let’s be friends…I’ll feed it!” and then having to pay for a very expensive extermination fee. Not to mention the disease they carry.
Cockroaches are NOT friends. They are not adorable. They are not cuddly.
The kicker is that at the back of the book they encourage you to go the i love rochee blog (by the author, of course) where the author shares pictures kids have drawn of Rochee, talks more about Rochee’s life, etc.
The author and the publisher are both Singaporean, because I know you’ll ask.
Here’s the thing…as a writer, I say “bravo” to the author for getting their book published. But I also question why on earth you’d paint something that is a giant, disease ridden constant flying pest in your home country and make it cute and cuddly. If a child were to empathize with the book, they’ll freak when you’re spraying for them or stepping on them. How do you, as a parent, explain that Rochee is fictional to a child who is developmentally incapable of telling the difference between fantasy and reality? Is it a good idea?
I say no. I’m sorry Gavin Goo (the author), but I bought your book to share it in horror with my friends back home, not to read to my 2 year old. It’s one thing for her to like the tweedlebugs on Sesame Street (or even the ants in A Bug’s Life…not that she’s seen it yet), and it’s another for her to want to make friends with a roach.
If YOU would like to own this book (read twice) be the first to leave a comment. If you’re local I’ll drop in the mail this week….if you’re in the US, you’ll have to wait until I’m home in NOV.
ALSO__Jenn I won for her guesses back in the Autumn Festival “dear god what is that thing” contest! I’ll bring you back a magnet and maybe we can meet up while I”m home or I’ll give it to A to give to you 🙂