Monday 3 July 2023

Hello Twigs, Time to Paint

Hello Twigs, Time to Paint by Andrew McDonald & Ben Wood (Hardie Grant) Paperback, Junior Fiction, Graphic Novel RRP $9.99 9781761212017 

Reviewed by Karen Hendriks

Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood have created a captivating new funny series for kids. Hello Twigs, is a graphic novel series for young readers. Each book is 48 pages with full-colour illustrations and simple text that can be read aloud. The stories follow a group of twigs and one stump as they explore creativity, nature, emotions, and friendship. Heart and humour are at the core of every book. The world is big when you’re a twig!

Hello Twigs, Time to Paint is about Noodle, a twig who loves to paint. The only problem is she doesn’t have any blue paint. Can blue paint be found in nature?

In this book, bestselling author Andrew Mc Donald shares Noodle’s passion for creating art and what it feels like. ‘Art is how we say our feelings,’ says Stump. ‘Look - I just drew GREAT SADNESS’. Everyone is keen to help Noodle find the right art stuff so that she can paint.

The humour creates such great laugh out loud moments.  Noodle takes off her hat. And looks at it closely. No, Noodle! WE don’t use others to make paint. Without blue paint Noodle is unable to create. Mc Donald cleverly brings in the sky which is an obvious kid choice for blue. But how is it possible to capture the sky’s blue?

Red, who is awesome at surprises, has an idea. Noodle leaps high with shock. But not high enough to reach the sky. The words share the action with Wood’s illustrations and make the reader actively think throughout the story. Noodle points out her idea. She’s going to need help from all the twigs. Ten seconds later… They are all in position. Each word counts, propels the story and captures the reader.

Ben Wood’s colourful illustrations bring such joy to the words. A blue beetle is Noodle’s artist hat and when everyone is looking for something blue the beetle sits hoping not to be seen. But the reader knows and waits and wonders what’s going to happen. The play of launching Red high is not only fun but science visually shown in a playful way. What goes up must come down too and Wood hams up those moments with genius simplicity. His illustrations look deceptively easy and that is their appeal. I love that a child can easily copy his style and draw the characters themselves. The use of perspective plays to the emotion and the drama as the images zoom in and out.

Hello Twigs, How Are You Feeling? is an early reader for children six years and older. It’s part of a new graphic novel series created by an award-winning team. This book is a joyous read aloud and is such a fun interactive read. I love that each book in the series can be a stand-alone read but also forms part of a series. These books are appealing and perfect for those children embarking on independent reading. They will be popular additions to any home or school or library shelf.

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