Two unlikely friends embark on a life altering journey in The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi. Diva is a small dog who lives in an apartment complex at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. She takes her job of guarding the courtyard very seriously.
Flea is a streetwise cat who loves exploring the city of lights. One day, his travels take him past 11 avenue Le Play…and Diva. He finds the petite pooch to be quite interesting. Flea cannot understand why Diva runs away every time that someone enters the courtyard. A miscommunication soon turns into a budding friendship.
Diva loves listening to Flea’s stories about the wondrous sights of Paris. She admires his bravery and courage and decides to become an explorer too. Does this curious canine have what it takes to make it on the streets of Paris? Can Flea conquer his fear of brooms and the humans that come with them? Most importantly, will Diva and Flea’s friendship survive despite their vastly different backgrounds?
I absolutely love this book! The story reminds me of a mixture of Disney’s Oliver and Company with a dash of Madeline. While I have not been to Paris, I can definitely relate to the bond that Diva and Flea share. My husband and I rescued a two week old kitten from the middle of main street in our town and our three-legged dog, Penny, immediately bonded with the kitten and began raising her.
This story has so many fantastic themes woven intricately within the chapters. I also love how the story is told from both Diva and Flea’s perspective. It is truly magical to see how their individual lives come together to create a relationship that each hadn’t thought possible.
Tony DiTerlizzi’s illustrations are enchanting. Readers of all ages will fall in love with the adorable Diva and Flea. I am also blown away by the detail that DiTerlizzi puts into each image. His buildings are simply incredible! I almost felt as if I was in Paris, smelling the scent of coffee and freshly baked bread.
I would highly recommend this book to readers ages 8 to 108! This classic story of friendship, courage and discovery will surely be treasured for years to come. I think it would also make for a fantastic movie or television series.