BOOK BLOG: Tom Percival

The Invisible: the kind of book that floors you and will stay with you for a long time

“The Invisible is the story of a young girl called Isabel and her family. They don’t have much, but they have what they need to get by. Until one day, there isn’t enough money to pay their rent and bills and they have to leave their home full of happy memories and move to the other side of the city. It is the story of a girl who goes on to make one of the hardest things anyone can ever make…a difference. And it is the story of those who are overlooked in our society – who are made to feel invisible – and why everyone has a place here. We all belong.

For anyone who is new to the world of picture books, Tom Percival has written some absolute crackers. His books are always so lovely and they deal with all kinds of things: anger, worry, being different. When I heard he was writing a new one, I knew I needed to get my hands on it. Once I heard what it was about, I was even more desperate to read it.

The Invisible tells the story of gorgeous Isabel. She’s a young girl who comes from a family who don’t have a lot of money. They try and see the positives – they have each other and that’s all that’s needed. When the family can no longer afford to live in their house and must move somewhere new, Isabel feels that no-one sees her anymore and she becomes invisible. But a magical thing happens when she becomes invisible – she can see other invisible people… and this helps her to see that it isn’t money money that matters, but it’s kindness.

I’ll be perfectly honest with you here. When this landed through my door, I got it out of it’s envelope and started reading it to my Mam (it’s a thing we do, you’re never too old for storytime). I got a few pages in and had to take a moment. Eventually, I had to stop reading because I was crying SO HARD. I don’t know what it is about stories like this but they absolutely floor me. I didn’t expect it to hit me in the heart as hard as it did, but even now rereading it, it still does (I recorded it for my friend Cassie the other day and I still got to the end and could barely keep it together).

I think this is a book that’s going to have an incredible impact. It’s such a simple thing – how it’s kindness that matters and not money. I think this will be perfect to use in classrooms, assemblies, with groups of children, or just to simply read because it’s a gorgeous story. We need to see more children from poorer backgrounds in books and we need children to know that it isn’t money that matters; it’s the kind of person you are and the kindness in your person.

A wonderful thing about this book is the use of colour – when Isabel is sad, there’s a lot of grey and muted tones, but when you see kindness and when you see love, there’s a lot of colour. I think this perfectly portrays a ‘kindness colours the world’ kind of vibe and I’m totally here for it.

If Tom Percival could continue to write books, that would be wonderful.

Have you read ‘The Invisible’?
Do picture books make YOU cry?
Bave you got any books to recommend that are similar to this?

Let me know in the comments – I’d love to chat!

S x

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