’10 Little Insects’ will have readers chuckling: School Library Journal

10 Little Insects

’10 Little Insects’ is a hilarious tribute to Agatha Christie.

The worldwide interest in 10 Little Insects, Davide Cali and Vincent Pianina’s hilarious graphic novel/comic book has been tremendous.

The interest in the United States has been particularly strong, driven by positive reviews such as this one in the influential School Library Journal:

This graphic-novel homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None finds 10 bugs drawn to a mysterious weekend getaway on a remote island. As the hours tick by, the members of the motley crew meet untimely deaths in a variety of macabre ways: poison, freezing, electrocution, being eaten by a fish, and getting beheaded amid secret passages. The title is filled with Victorian spookiness, until only a detective and his assistant sail away with their lives. The boldly colored art in the cartoon panels, while simple, holds some hilarious details that will have readers chuckling. The size and format may turn off potential readers who see a picture book rather than a gruesome murder mystery but reluctant readers will find more than enough to engage and amuse them.—Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library

The reviewer, Marge Loch-Wouters, hosts Tiny Tips for Library Fun, a lively and creative blog for children’s librarians, which is well worth a visit.


10 Little Insects – ‘Bright and altogether engaging’

10 Little Insects10 Little Insects gets another rave review in America from Kirkus Review. Here’s a snippet…

“A remote island and a weekend getaway, with murder on the menu.

Think Agatha Christie’s classic Ten Little Indians retold as a graphic novel, an inspiration that Cali’s characters freely reference in the story. These characters, guests on remote Tortoise Island, are various insects: a fly called McFly, who comes in on an airplane; green Mr. Krikkit, who plays a guitar; the tall, yellow, segmented Johnny Nail; and others. Each thinks he’s coming for a different reason: a medical conference, swim meet, etc. An ominous recorded voice upbraids all assembled for unspecified misdeeds and predicts their imminent deaths….

Secret tunnels, a mysterious lighthouse, a skull and a séance all figure into the twisty tongue-in-cheek plot. The storytelling is ably carried along by Cali’s punnish narrative and Pianina’s colorful cartoon panels, which run from five to 10 per page. The playful cover and book size falsely imply a story for young children, but it’s more for preteens and even teens.

Bright and altogether engaging; aspiring entomologists should find it extra amusing. (Graphic mystery. 10-15)”

Review Posted Online: March 27th, 2013. Read more about 10 Little Insects here. 


Teens and Tweens will be tickled!

This week, 10 Little Insects receives this positive review in Booklist.

Is this a parody of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None (1939) or an homage? It’s probably a little bit of both. Ten insects, all with something to hide, 10_Little_Insects_posterreceive invitations to a weekend getaway on a mysterious island. The boat delivering them to the island has gone, the phones are dead, and none of the guests have any idea who their host is. As, one by one, the insects are found dead, the guests begin to turn on each other. Is there a killer among them? Or is this all just one big misunderstanding? The comic timing in this farce is perfect. The causes of death move from silly to sublime, pushing the envelope when it comes to suspension of disbelief. The artwork is simple but expressive. The insects flail their arms in anger and excitement, the colors are obvious and effective, and the ridiculous twist at the end is paced beautifully. Tweens and teens who have outgrown Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew will be tickled by this send-up of the genre. — Eva Volin

Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association that provides critical reviews of books and audiovisual materials for all ages.

Eva Volin is the Supervising Children’s Services Librarian, at City of Alameda Library in California.

10 Little Insects ‘highly recommended’: Reading Time

An extract from 10 Little Insects

Davide Cali is all over the August edition of the Children’s Book Council’s official journal, Reading Time.

There’s a profile of him, which looks at some of the influences on his work for kids, plus another very enthusiastic review of Cali’s and Vincent Pianina’s latest book, 10 Little Insects. Here’s a snippet of the review:

Cali adopts the classic detective novel structure, introducing the characters through a prologue, and rounding off with a very funny denouement when all is explained, still leaving room for a final surprise … Attractive design within the comic-book tradition, sharp drawing, fresh clear colours, a quirky cover and exceptionally beautiful endpapers make up an appealing presentation. High recommended.

10 Little Insects - Davide Cali & Vincent Pianina

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iPad owners: ’10 Little Insects’ ebook now on iTunes!

Davide Cali and Vincent Pianina

A special treat for iPad owners: the award-winning 10 Little Insects is now available from the Apple iTunes store as an iPad-friendly ebook!

To celebrate, the book’s illustrator, Vincent Pianina, has produced this uncanny portrait of himself (on the right) with co-creator Davide Cali. Love it.

Until now, the ebook revolution has largely excluded illustrated books, because they need colour reproduction (most e-readers reproduce in black and white only) and the illustrations and text are part of a single design. The iPad with its quality colour screen gives us a chance to create a fully illustrated ebook.

We had a lot of fun creating the ebook with Andrew Farrell of Dennis Jones & Associates, using a fixed-width ebook format that makes illustrated books look ‘just great’ on an iPad (as Steve Jobs might have said).

10 Little Insects - Davide Cali & Vincent Pianina
Australian iPad owners can download the ebook here.

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10 Little Insects’ Pianina’s amazing music video

Vincent Pianina

Vincent Pianina, the illustrator of our new graphic novel 10 Little Insects, does a lot more than just illustrate books.

Here’s an amazing new music video he’s just completed for the French band, Ödland. The song is called ‘Østersøen’ and it’s from Ödland’s new album, Sankta Lucia.

One can only imagine how many hours of work was spent making this. Enjoy!

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Cali’s ‘humdinger’ gets first ’10 out of 10′ review

The instant acclaim for Davide Cali and Vincent Pianina’s hilarious graphic novel, 10 Little Insects (published this month), continues to grow, with Melbourne’s Herald-Sun giving the book the maximum: 10 out of 10! In a brief but wholeheartedly enthusiastic review, their reviewer describes it as a

humdinger of a graphic novel

Can’t do better than that, can we? Thanks, ‘BC’.

10 Little Insects - Davide Cali & Vincent Pianina

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