Twig follows her big sister Hazel all over the place. She is little so sometimes she is unable to keep up with Hazel, but she tries. And she does not know the difference between flowers and weeds (yet their mother loves both of their gifts). She has her big sister, Hazel, to teach her. When it is time for Twig’s first birthday, everyone (especially Hazel) is wondering what she will choose at her doljabi ceremony (a ceremony that will predict the future of that person). When Twig’s choice is less than traditional, it is up to Hazel to help figure out what the future might hold for her baby sister.
I was expecting a “big sister and little sister” story (they do things together, little sister bothers big sister, they learn how much they love each other) and while there is some of that, the fact that Korean tradition and language is peppered throughout it, without making a “big deal” over it, is a lovely surprise. And the fact that there is little conflict (the worst thing that happens is Hazel has a very creative art style) is refreshing. The glossary in the back and more information about the doljabi ceremony are a good addition. I was familiar with some of the words and picked up on the Korean theme, but it might be a surprise to the reader who is less familiar with it. I was unfamiliar, however, with the actual doljabi ceremony. Therefore, that was nice to learn about.
Hazel and Twig: The Birthday Fortune will be, of course, a fantastic gift. Especially for a first birthday or a new baby. This book will be a great additional for classrooms and as a general read-aloud.
Brenna Burns Yu has a unique style to their illustrations. They are bright, but simple. Almost sketches. They are the perfect complement to the text of the story.