Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







The Invisible Boy

line The Invisible Boy
by Trudy Ludwig (Author), Patrice Barton (Illustrator)

Poignant!

Brian feels invisible. His teacher hardly notices him as she is busy with other more noisy kids of the class. At lunch, he sits alone to eat his food. At recess his friends don’t include him any games they play. So Brian finds something he can do all by himself. He draws. He does it at recess and in the class exercises. He gets lost in his little world of pirates and space aliens and superheroes.

The Invisible Boy invisible

One day a new boy Justin joins his class. Brian hopes desperately that Justin and he could be friends. Justin is different too. He eats a Korean dish called Bulgogi and promptly gets laughed and teased at by others. Feeling sorry for the new boy, Brian sends him a small note with a neat drawing of himself eating Bulgogi. It says “Justin, I thought the bulgogi looked good. Brian.”

The Invisible Boy note

Later that day, Justin and Brian get together for a class project and they do a great job at it too. It seems to Brian finally, that he is no longer “invisible”!

The Invisible Boy Justin project

What at first seems to be a simple story about bullying and classroom dynamics is really a wonderfully narrated and brilliantly illustrated picture book. Ludwig’s story tells of how simple acts of kindness and inclusiveness can help children to flourish.

Barton cleverly uses pencil sketch illustration to work through the emotions that Brian is feeling. One notices in the beginning of the story that Brian is colored and sketched in shades of gray, whereas the rest of the world around him are colored in bright colors, thus, highlighting the “invisibility” theme of the story. But as the story moves and Brian starts to feel more comfortable and included, color seems to creep into Brian. Finally he is revealed in full color.

What I liked the most is the how perfect this book is as a read aloud in a classroom. During our session, kids immediately noticed the graphic difference between Brian and the rest if the kids. Kids (surprisingly) immediately could tell what “The Invisible Boy” title really meant (that he is not really invisible, just not noticed). And as the story progressed there were strong empathetic comments shared by the kids.

Ludwig and Barton’s “The invisible Boy” is a great addition to any school library. There is a page full of Questions for Discussions for parents and teachers alike. On a final note, the author includes recommended reading for both adults and kids.

A truly poignant book on classroom relationships. This one is a MUST READ!

Find it here: Library, Amazon


16 comments

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  1. I love the illustration style in this–it works perfectly for the story as you’ve summarized it. As usual, you’ve done a superb job of writing up your review. It’s detailed and engaging–exactly what a good review should be.

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    • reshamad

      Thanks for your kind comment Destiny. I do hope you get to give it a read!
      -Reshama

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  2. I agree I really like the illustrations. It sounds like a great fit for my 4 1/2 year old daughter who is about to start school.

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    • reshamad

      Its a wonderful read aloud. Hope she likes it Thanks for stopping by Crystal.
      -Reshama

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  3. Awww… Poor little invisible guy. The description sounds a bit like my middle child, the quiet well behaved one people ignore while dealing with the squeaky wheeled siblings.

    The pictures look great.

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    • reshamad

      Yup! An appropriate book for any age group really.. Its a well done book. At the back there is a wonderful list of questions to work through for both kids as well as parents. Its a nice addition to any classroom library. Thanks for stopping by Christy!
      -Reshama

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  4. This sounds like a wonderful book that can lead to some great classroom discussions. Thanks for sharing this review. I hopped over from the KidLit linky.

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    • reshamad

      It sure is. As I mentioned earlier, there is a list of questions at the back for engaging kids into discussions. Thanks for stopping by Keitha.
      -Reshama

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  5. I agree, this book is definitely a must for classroom reading. I love the illustrations and was happy when Brian found friends.

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    • reshamad

      Yes, it was nice to read a happy ending. Gives the kids a sense of hope and also to be extra cautious about how they are around other kids.
      -Reshama

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  6. This sounds and looks like a wonderful book! Encouraging simple acts of kindness and inclusiveness is so important – and this books looks like a great way to do it

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    • reshamad

      I find it important to read such books at school. The issue of being sensitive to differences for kids is so important at any age group. Thanks for stopping by.
      -Reshama

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  7. There are so many things to love about this book! I love the use of color to complement the story, and I also love the addition of multiculturalism as well as the idea that to make friends, one sometimes needs to reach out! Thanks so much for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina

    Quick question: How do you get the images you include from each book? They are always so beautiful and add so much to your reviews.

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    • reshamad

      Very interesting observation about mulitculturalism Tina. Its true that many classrooms all over have kids of diversity. Thanks for sharing your comment here!
      -Reshama

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  8. This looks like an absolutely fantastic book! I love the use of color in the illustrations, and I’m sure a lot of kids will find Brian’s story easy to relate to. Thanks for sharing!

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    • reshamad

      Very creative Katie. And for all the subtle color changes, i was amazed to see the first graders observe exactly what was going on
      -Reshama

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