Heidi is a stick insect. She is like the twig of a tree: tall, long and brown. And today is her first day of school. She knows she will learn a lot and make lots of friends. However, when she gets to her new school, no one sees her! That is, until a very unfortunate mistake occurs, and Heidi has finally had enough.
I love the illustrations in Twig by Aura Parker. The story I am still mulling over. I think it needs a re-read. There is something about them I like but then I am thinking…. well. Maybe not…. but yes, I do. However, it is a very simple story about trying to fit in and sometimes fitting in too well. Or at least in the wrong places. The theme most likely is about being “shy” and “the new kid” and not so much the literal. However, how many shy kids (and adults) do blend in with the background.
The illustrations are busy and colorful in the right places. Finding Heidi for the reader is the goal. Many would call the art whimsical. I just find it fun. The right amount of details helps you feel what Heidi must be: overwhelmed by the business of the classroom and the sadness of not making new friends as she had hoped.
Perhaps the part that I did not like is the fact that the teacher never seems to wonder where Heidi is. When she is finally “found” the teacher is “Oh, there you are!” Perhaps I am too used to the Americanism of “knowing where your student is” and also just taking it too literal. Perhaps this is an issue with the text. I think it might be overall a minor issue I am making a bit more of then should.