It’s Heidi’s first day at Bug School, which is “abuzz with hundreds of shiny, scurrying shapes,” young bugs eager to learn and discover. But no one notices the new girl, because Heidi is a stick insect—mistaken for foliage, a hat stand, a twig amongst other twigs left on the ground. “I’m NOT a twig! I’m me! I’m Heidi!” she exclaims.
Social ostracism is a sad reality that many children will face. We all want to feel that we belong, that our existence matters, and if we’re put into a position of isolation and loneliness, whether on purpose or unconsciously done, it can be psychologically AND physically damaging, deep-set and long-lasting. If The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and Patrice Barton warmed your heart, you’ll love Twig. Both teach compassion, kindness, and resilience. Heidi’s fellow students and her teacher, Miss Orb, are very apologetic. They didn’t knowingly ignore Heidi, and make her feel welcome, included—they weave Heidi a scarf, which she wears always, unless playing her favourite game—hide-n-seek.
Twig is a charming story with an inspiring message. Touching and tender. Parker’s illustrations are beautiful, clever (the math page in particular), and the seek and find endpapers are fun. Kids will love the happy characters. Our beyond the book activity was twig loom weaving. It was a first for us. It’s quite simple—all you need is some twigs, scissors, a plastic needle, wool or thread, plenty of patience and perseverance.