Beatrice Alemagna illustrates how children’s imagination has no limits in a charming story about finding the perfect present

Beatrice Alemagna, The Marvellous Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty

Published 2015 by Thames&Hudson


Beatrice Alemagna has never given up her inner child. She creates portraits of children and poetically speaks about their flaws in a manner only on adult that still believes in the inexhaustible resourcefulness of childhood could do.

Edith, whom friends call Eddie, is five and a half and she thinks she is not very good at anything. One morning, when she hears her sister talking about getting an amazing fluffy… squishy… itty… bitty present for their mother’s birthday she feels stuck and doubts her abilities of finding something special.



But never underestimate the creativity of a child. Imagining is discovering the unseen around, so Eddie begins a tour through the town involving everybody in her expedition to find the fluffy, squishy, itty, bitty present. Sometimes she feels not big enough and loses hope, shortly she finds the strength she needs to continue, then she is scared when the busy butcher rejects her.

Then it started to snow. Feeling cold and sad, I looked for somewhere to shelter. Then I heard a noise from up on the roof. It sounded like giggling, I couldn’t believe it, but there it was. What an adorable creature! Not very tasty, not very stylish, but fluffy, squishy, strange and rare.

The original present defines not only Eddie’s creativity but also her special personality. Her expedition in all the shops and the small gifts she received from her big friends could not respond to her expectations as she desired something almost fantastic. The Fluffy Squishy Itty Bitty is the result of an active mind, a certification of the marvel in each child.

What a day it had been. I’d done something that nobody else had done before.


I remember when my daughter made me a necklace for Mother’s Day. She used clay and the beads were big, heavy and irregular, the string was itchy but she was proud and I looked even prouder when wearing them for dinner.


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