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Heidi the stick insect prepares for her first day of school in this “whimsical and warm” ( Children’s Book Daily ) picture book in the tradition of Where’s Waldo .

Heidi is a stick insect, tall and long like the twig of a tree. It’s her first day at a busy bug school, where she hopes to learn and make new friends. But finding friends isn’t easy when no one can find you!

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2016

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About the author

Aura Parker

9 books10 followers
Aura Parker is a Sydney based illustrator, writer & designer who makes prints, textiles and picture books. Her work is joyful, imaginative and brimming with details to explore. Her storytelling inspires imagination, courage and confidence in young readers. Aura's debut picture book TWIG, a CBCA Notable for Early Childhood 2017 is out now.

'Whimsical and warm.'
Children's Books Daily

'With its uplifting themes of kindness, collaboration, and inclusion, this title is a welcome addition to picture book collections.'
School Library Journal

'Sweet and captivatingly illustrated, this pairs perfectly with Carson Ellis' Du Iz Tak.'

'Readers will take pleasure in Parker's imaginative forest world, with its parades and tea parties, brimming with insect-school fun!'
Publishers Weekly

'Parker's watercolor, colored pencil, artline pens, and digital compositions are quite delicate and detailed, her bug school delightfully analogous to children's own.'
Kirkus Reviews

'Aura Parker's quirky, delicate pictures of the school and its pupils are full of seek-and-find interest.'
The Wall Street Journal

'This adorable debut by Parker teems with delicate details, many of them visual puzzles.'
New York Times Book Review

Aura also designs and exhibits screen prints and handcrafted textiles at Studio Bonnie. She has a background in graphic design and a passion for children's literature. Aura's new books COCOON and MEERKAT SPLASH will be out in 2019. Take a look at her website and follow her on Instagram @auraparker to see more of her art.

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5 stars
123 (23%)
4 stars
216 (40%)
3 stars
170 (32%)
2 stars
18 (3%)
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3 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews
Profile Image for Madison.
1,078 reviews62 followers
May 15, 2017
I fell in love with this picture book when I first saw the end pages. I didn't even need to read the story or flick through further to know it was going to be a gorgeous book.

Are you a bit diferent from those around you? Do you stand out? Or maybe you are so different no one even sees you? That's the problem Heidi has. No one sees her. Heidi is tall and thin, just like the twig of a tree. It is her first day of school, but it is hard to make friends when no one notices you in the playground and you can't join in the classroom activities if no one knows you're there.

I think so many readers can relate to not fitting in, standing out or being different. Twig captures all those feelings of isolation and translates them into a beautiful story. Heidi is a stick insect and her first day at bug school gives her many challenges to face - like her teacher Miss Orb placing her weaving kit on the hatstand, or what she mistakes as the hatstand which is actually Heidi! There is also a touch of humour and lessons in friendship, kindness, and patience. Heidi often takes deep breathes and repeats "One, two, three. One, two, three. Why won't someone play with me?"

The watercolour illustrations are gorgeous, bright, colourful, and whimsical. Soft backgrounds in golden browns and pale greens create the perfect backdrop for the bright greens of the leaves, and royal blues, patterned reds, and gold and black of the insect characters. Readers will also enjoy trying to find Heidi in the full, double-span illustrations, where she camouflages against the trees. And the end pages, which are just as richly illustrated as the images within, also include a search and find.

Twig is a delightful story of friendship, fitting in, differences, and the first day at school, which encourages celebrating difference and finding each person's - or in this case insect's - special talents.

Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library.
Profile Image for Catherine Woodman.
5,147 reviews106 followers
October 20, 2018
This is the last book that I read in my recent spate of finding the perfect children's picture book, and it is very good, especially if you have a child who is a bit afraid of bugs or thinks that they are really cool.

There are a lot of elements of counting in the book, which could be another good aspect of a book that you might reread. Here is the basic plot. Heidi is a stick insect, long and thin like the twig of a tree. It's her first day at Bug School, where she hopes to learn lots and make new friends. But no one will talk to her and no one will play with her at lunch. No one notices her at all - not even her teacher Miss Orb, because she's blending in with the branches a little too well. Finally, Heidi speaks up for herself and Miss Orb comes up with a plan to help Heidi stand out. There are many things to hunt for and find in the book, which is exactly what you would have to do outside to find some of these bugs in real life.
600 reviews2 followers
August 7, 2019
Heidi the stick insect goes to a new school. Unfortunately, she's very good at blending in.
A cute story. Heidi is shy and quiet, so nobody notices her until she speaks up for herself. In the end, she gets noticed and makes friends.
The pictures are very busy. I'm not sure how well it would work with my toddler group, but I'd be willing to try it on my preK group.
Profile Image for Kim Williams.
130 reviews3 followers
May 1, 2021
I loved this adorable book simply because of the darling, detailed illustrations. The storyline was good too, but making it a counting book detracted rather than added to its appeal in my opinion. There was a cute thread about weaving (pun intended) that continued through the book and helped it come to a nice conclusion. I think I would have loved this as a kid, since I was a bug noticer, and loved drawing and crafts like knitting.
10 reviews
September 21, 2023
In “Twig” by Aura Parker, the book takes place in a forest. The main character is a twig named Heidi, and the secondary characters are all various insects. As the story takes place in a forest, Heidi, a twig, blends into the trees. Heidi has a difficult time being noticed by her teacher and other classmates at school because she blends into the background and looks different than the other insect children. Once her classmates and teacher notices her, they come up with a plan to make Heidi more noticeable. Her classmate’s and teacher’s act of kindness make Heidi feel seen and heard, something she had not felt before. One act of kindness in this book was able to completely change Heidi’s mood and her experience at school. This book teaches the reader that even a small act of kindness can make someone’s day or change the experience they have somewhere. Heidi is often depicted on the far right hand side of the page spread. According to William Moebius, he writes in his article “Introduction to Picturebook Codes” that being positioned on the right hand side of the page means the character “is likely to be moving into a situation of risk or adventure” (Moebius, 1986). Heidi continually takes a risk with her existence in the classroom, as she does not know if she will be unintentionally ignored or mistaken as a hat rack or piece of wood.
Profile Image for Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*.
6,001 reviews193 followers
September 3, 2018
Twig by Aura Parker. PICTURE BOOK Simon and Schuster, 2018. $18 9781534424685



Heidi is the new girl at bug school. She is a stick bug and is often mistaken as something else or not noticed at all. When Heidi’s teacher notices what is going on, she coordinates the knitting of a colorful scarf that makes Heidi more noticeable. Heidi quickly becomes a favorite among the bugs because there are lots of things that she is able to do including the game of Hide and Seek.

I loved this book about a wallflower that is finally appreciated. I loved the illustrations of cute Heidi the stick insect. This is good for those who feel like nobody notices them and also for those who might overlook others—great moral of appreciation ourselves and others.

C. Peterson.
Profile Image for Tiffany May Ross.
120 reviews1 follower
August 18, 2021
The illustrations in this book alone make it worth the read! We have had just as much fun looking for the stories that the pages tell as we have had reading the story. It is a great story to read before starting school!!

This book is about a school for bugs and Heidi, a new student, is a stick (twig) bug who nobody notices because her camouflage is “too good”. She feels quite sad about going completely unnoticed, a sentiment many kids can relate too. When her class finally realizes that she’s there they all come together to knit her a scarf so that she’ll never be overlooked again.

The story is sweet but what really makes this book extra special is all of the hunting you can do in the illustrations. What numbers can we find? What letters are hidden? Which bugs do you see? It’s really a fun book! My five year old and I greatly enjoyed it!
Profile Image for Linda .
3,777 reviews43 followers
August 14, 2018
My younger granddaughter’s class studied insects all the school year and she learned so much. Most important, however, is that she fell in love with them. I’ve given her insect books that she pores over, but this book Twig that we read last week is going to be a favorite for sure. Aura Parker has written a darling whimsical story about Heidi, not noticed at all by any of the other interesting creatures at school. She is too camouflaged! When the teacher and others hear Heidi call “I’m not a hat stand,/can’t you see?” they ‘mend’ their ways and scurry around to weave a scarf for Heidi, so she can be seen! There are numerous details to make one smile. It’s a must for reading and looking closely!
Profile Image for Jana.
2,592 reviews37 followers
July 30, 2018
Starting a new school can be scary, especially for shy children. Often shy children so quiet, they can hard to notice by the others around them. Heidi knows all about that. It is her first day at Bug School and she is a stick insect. She blends into surroundings so well that the other children don't see her and the teacher mistakes her for a coat tree. Young readers will be able to relate to Heidi's problem and may even be able to consider ways to make others feel welcome at a new school. This book would pair well with The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig and would be a great book to share at the beginning of a new school year.
Profile Image for Becky B.
7,751 reviews101 followers
November 29, 2018
Heidi, the stick bug, goes to school and no one notices her for quite a while. She begins to think she'll never be noticed, but when the class finally meets Heidi they come up with a way to not forget her again.

The problems with being too well camouflaged. You might say no one notices you, but at least no one actually mistakes you for a stick. Heidi eventually feels welcomed by the class in a way that real classes could make a new student feel welcome too. A good read before you get a new student in a class to talk about ways to make them feel welcome. Also a good read when studying camouflage in nature.
Profile Image for Diane.
7,001 reviews
January 1, 2019
“Oh, there you are, Heidi! It seems your camouflage has been working too well!”

Poor Heidi! No one notices her when she shows up at school on her first day. Her teacher even mistakes her for a hat stand. Finally, while working on her weaving, Scarlett mistakes Heidi for a twig. They all welcome Heidi and all contribute to a scarf for Heidi to wear so that she won’t go unnoticed again.

Delightfully detailed illustrations that students will enjoy perusing and finding where Heidi is on every page as well as all the other fun bugs that are in school. Also, a great story to remind up about the invisible kids in our classrooms. How can we make sure we notice them?
Profile Image for Meredith.
3,498 reviews62 followers
April 5, 2019
Heidi is a stick insect whose natural camouflage is so effective that her teacher and classmates don't see her.

Not feeling seen and blending into the background is a common experience for many young people, and they will relate to Heidi. When Heidi finally speaks up, everyone makes an effort to ensure that she is included. This may encourage those on the other side of the coin who are aware of those being constantly overlooked to reach out.

I enjoyed that the main character is a stick insect. They are fascinating bugs that don't get a lot of press unlike ladybugs and butterflies, which often appear in picture books. The illustrations are filled with nature imagery, and the author/illustrator included look-and-find items as bonus content.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,368 reviews
December 17, 2018
Heidi (or Hide-y) the stick bug has some serious camouflage issues. No one can see her at school! Not even her teacher! When finally they discover her, they make her a special scarf so that they will always be able to find her.

I could see this being used to talk about new kids coming to school, and reaching out to them (instead of acting like you can't see them!), or used to introduce camouflage in science class for lower elementary.

The little bug illustrations are cute, and bonus, there's a search and find throughout the pictures of the book.
16 reviews
September 25, 2022
Heidi the stick insect is excited for bug school start. Unfortunately, she blends in a little too well, preventing her classmates and her teacher from seeing her. When she finally speaks up and they do notice she is there, Mrs. Orb, her teacher, comes up with a thoughtful solution to make sure she is always able to be seen.

**Cute story about being nervous on the first days of school and how to use teamwork to help everyone feel seen and heard. Also, a reminder to kids to speak up and advocate for themselves.
Profile Image for Elaine Fultz, Teacher Librarian, MLS.
1,703 reviews20 followers
November 30, 2018
Adorable and informative story about a walking stick named Heidi who is overlooked in her forest classroom (all students are other insects) until a ladybug tried to use Heidi in her weaving project as a twig. The teacher suggests they work together to weave Heidi a scarf to make her more visible. Great read-aloud just for fun or for a lesson about camouflage. Bonus is the appropriately included "Can you find these bugs?" activity on the endpapers.
Profile Image for Jillian Anderson.
371 reviews1 follower
February 7, 2021
A great book for any age group. Heidi, a “twig,” is trying to fit in at school but no one can see her. The illustrations are e fantastic and kids will love trying to locate her. My only wish is that the “see if you can find” were not on the end pages. This makes it hard for a library book reader to find all the hidden bugs! Otherwise, a very cute book about making others feel welcome and included.
Profile Image for Jordan Moore.
64 reviews2 followers
March 19, 2018
Heidi is a stick insect who blends too well with her surroundings - so much that nobody notices her at their big school. That is until they accidentally weave her into their school work. Then the class comes together to make her a scarf so she stands out and Heidi flourishes. A nice, heartwarming story but I felt it was missing something to really make it impactful.
Profile Image for Jason.
3,829 reviews25 followers
July 24, 2018
See, HERE's a book that is clever by virtue of its premise, as opposed to its premise being "to be clever" (I just reviewed This Book Is Red). The art is beautiful and detailed while still being simple. The protagonist is immediately likeable and the reader sympathizes with her plight immediately. It's solidly "slice of life" but also terrifically unique.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,295 reviews
July 27, 2018
It’s Heidi’s first day of bug school, but as a stick bug, she blends right in with the surroundings and no one seems to notice her – not even Miss Orb, the teacher! When one of the other bugs picks her up to use in her weaving, Heidi finally speaks up and yells, “I’m NOT a twig! I’m me! I’m Heidi!”
Profile Image for Raven Black.
2,096 reviews5 followers
August 1, 2018
LOVE the illustrations. 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 place.
Profile Image for Patricia N. McLaughlin.
Author 2 books20 followers
October 18, 2018
Busy illustrations and small print make the story as hard to find at times as the hapless little stick bug, but the bug school concept is refreshingly creative. Though an arachnid, the multitasking, web-spinning champion golden silk weaver spider, Miss Orb, is a clever choice for the role of teacher.
Profile Image for Jenny Hartfelder.
421 reviews5 followers
March 8, 2019
A nice story about a bug who has trouble making friends at school because no one sees her. Once the other students realize they've not been including her, they make a special scarf so that she can't disappear anymore. A great story about friendship and kindness. The pictures are nicely drawn... Even cute, despite the prolific number of bugs.
Profile Image for Nichole Stratton.
122 reviews48 followers
May 19, 2023
I liked the themes here; lots of kids struggle to understand why others don't immediately see their needs and either struggle to speak up or don't even know they need to. I thought the counting element was unnecessary and the story arc could have had a little more tension, but I liked the weaving elements and the resolution. I think many kids would enjoy the imaginative little insect world.
Profile Image for Brydie Wright.
Author 1 book35 followers
August 21, 2018
Just beautiful... More than lives up to the reputation that proceeds it. My son and I were drawn into Parker's detailed world of insects and enjoyed exploring the intracacies of each illustration, with a good story to boot. What a talent to be able to both write and illustrate this well!
Profile Image for Jillian.
2,524 reviews24 followers
September 12, 2018
Cute story - when camouflage works a little *too* well, poor Heidi gets left out of most of the activities at school. (Except....she can talk? She just never bothers to until close to the end.)
I liked the class's way of making sure she doesn't get lost again.
Profile Image for Molly.
168 reviews
February 12, 2019
No one notices Heidi because she's a stick bug. One day a classmate does, and then they make her a scarf. Then everyone knows where Heidi is and she's invited to all of the other bugs' fun adventures.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 82 reviews

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