Fiona Woodcock tells the story of Hiding Heidi who has a very extraordinary talent. Heidi likes to use her talent when playing with her friends, (and shes exceptionally good at one particular game), but begins to realise that everyone has their own talents to share.
I really like the way in which this piece is written. Woodcock begins by addressing the reader directly through the use of a question which I think works brilliantly. This technique draws in the reader and/or listener and enables them to be involved in the story and participate rather than being a by stander. I found myself pointing out Heidi in each of the illustrations which I believe is something younger readers would really engage in and enjoy.
Additionally, Woodcocks initial question is followed up by encouragement, which again I think works wonderfully to really draw in the reader.
Heidi has a special talent.
Can you guess what it is?
I bet you can.
Her illustrations are original and utterly stunning, supported and supporting the text perfectly to create this picture book. As mentioned earlier, you find yourself being drawn into each of the pages trying to find Heidi among each of the hiding places. Woodcock looks to use a variety of mediums to create her unique landscapes and characters. Stamping is a popular technique appearing in more illustrative work which Woodcock appears to have mastered and works beautifully with her use of watercolour and pencil. Her variety in palette feels slightly muted and greyish, (if that makes any sense?) which brings each individual illustrations together with the next and collectively gives the book an original edge. Shadows and shading bring detail to each piece and I like the colour themes on each turn of the page.
There is a great use of white space throughout the book which really emphasises the hues in the illustrations and avoids loss of detail by a busy background.
The typography is clear and perfectly legible with text situated in a variety of areas throughout the book to keep interest, and to avoid large chunks of text which may appear of putting to young readers. Additionally, Woodcocks vocabulary is standardised and simple standing clear of over complicated lexis or grammar.
This is a beautiful picture book emphasising the importance of friendship and the variation in individual talents … definitely one for the bookshelf!
Get your copy here from Simon & Schuster here: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Hiding-Heidi/Fiona-Woodcock/9781499803501