July 17, 2016

HIDING HEIDI

Things get adorable pretty quickly in Fiona Woodcock's author/illustrator debut Hiding Heidi. In my household, this book definitely qualifies for #kidlitpicks' July theme of #repeatreads: I've read it half a dozen times in the few days I've had it! Heidi is a master of blending into her surroundings, taking pride in how well she can fade into the background. But when she spends her whole birthday party playing hide-and-seek (and never being found), she realizes her friends might need a change of pace in games.


Woodcock's debut is stellar. She uses a combination of children's blow pens, stencils, and printing techniques to create her illustrations, and each one is impeccably designed to maximize the patterning on Heidi's clothes and surroundings. The colors are soft but vibrant, complimenting and contrasting when necessary and providing fun visual details for every reread. One of my favorites is when Heidi attempts to blend in with the orange trees she wears an orange polka-dotted dress, but when she learns to blend in with her friends instead, she wears a blue polka-dotted dress. The book is chock-full of these fun little details.


It's fun to watch Heidi's thought process as she evolves throughout the course of the book. Heidi understands herself and her friends well enough to know she has to change her attitude about play time. We see this shift firsthand, as she focuses on blending in with her friends--wearing the same colors, playing their games--and learning about their special gifts. It's a special book about a very special little girl.


Hiding Heidi is available July 14 (UK) from Simon Kids and November 1 (US) from Little Bee Books!