I bought this delightful gem for DB as a gift - much to the amusement of those watching him unwrap it. He was quite delighted, didn't think it an odd or ridiculous gift at all. My surprise has been that I found it in the bookshop down from work a few weeks ago, loved it for the mad illustrations and the seriously twisted storyline - and now I keep finding reviews of it all over the media. Apparently, it's one of THE buys in the picture book category at the moment.
The heroine is Serenity Strainer, who is perfect. Perfect in every way - perfectly groomed, perfectly organised, a perfect achiever, perfect big sister and daughter, etc, etc. And then comes the day when she discovers a small ball of belly-button fluff. Suddenly, Serenity's life goes from being utterly perfect to chaotic and terrifying as The Fluff, once released from Serenity's perfect navel, goes on a rampage through Serenity's house consuming everything in its path to satisfy its insatiable hunger - growing bigger and bigger before her eyes. It is evil, rude, leaves behind a trail of stinky farts and spits up nasty green gloop. The cat, Serenity's mother and teenaged brother are consumed in rapid succession but when the baby becomes its next target, Serenity faces it down with the vacuum cleaner. Clutching the baby under one arm, and the vacuum hose with her other hand, she attacks, thrusting the vacuum deep into The Fluff.
And then, with a pop! And a splat! And the plop of a cat. That was that.The cat and Serenity's mother and brother land on the floor covered in green slime and The Fluff is vanquished.
The Awful Fluff doesn't quite have a perfectly happy ending. The cat maroons itself way up high on top of its scratching post. Serenity's mother hangs out the washing looking fearfully over her shoulder, and her brother is last seen in a sterile, bare room armed with spray cleaner and a scrubbing brush. And Serenity? Well, after The Fluff, those small inconveniences in life like belly-button fluff, earwax, and other sundry bodily byproducts will never again be allowed to disrupt what is, for her, an otherwise perfect life!