April 30, 2017

TWIG

Aura Parker's Twig is just about the sweetest story you'll find about fitting in and finding your groove at a new school. Heidi is starting her first day at a busy bug school, and she's nervous about finding new friends. Sadly, her instincts turn out to be right, especially because it's so hard for everyone to find her! I had to order Twig from Australia so forgive my less-than perfect photos of the spreads -- they're just too sweet not to show!


It's heartening and uplifting to watch Heidi's story unfold. Heidi is vastly alone in her world, completely unrecognized and unacknowledged at school, but when the other bugs eventually see her, they all come together in a very touching way to help her be noticed going forward. Readers will giggle as they try to find Heidi amongst her peers hiding in front of trees, or even standing too close to a coat rack, and we get whole spreads where Parker doesn't indicate whatsoever where Heidi is located. Trust me, it takes a keen eye to find her!


The illustrations are watercolor, colored pencil, and artline pens on watercolor, so they're soft but extremely vibrant, and every inch of this book is full of color, energy, and life. Even the endpapers are chock-full of detailing: Parker starts the book off with a challenge to locate several different types of insects and bugs within the endpapers. So fun! And the world inside the book is even more so. We see the bugs and insects in the book going about their daily lives completely organically in this book, riding dung beetles to school and using the nature around them to enhance their settings (we even see spiders knitting from their own webbing!).


Twig reminds us to be more aware of our surroundings and reach out to the new people (and insects!) in our lives. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of common ground to form a lifelong friendship.