Text: Jeanne Willis
Illustrations: Susan Varley
I loved the girl’s detached narrative – she makes no assumptions and doesn’t tell the reader what to think. It prompts us to look to the illustrations for clues.
Why doesn’t Wilson want to take off his blazer? The obvious answer is that it makes him feel safe – he needs the emotional security. But this is contradicted by the fact that he is a strong and confident character who has the emotional independence to make his own decisions and challenge authority.
This is a thought-provoking book that prompts both an emotional and a creative response from young readers. Does Wilson really have a home? Where does he come from? How did the teacher know that he was coming? How would it feel to have nowhere to sleep? Do we all have our own secrets?
Is Wilson an alien, or just alienated?
Regardless of the interpretation, this magical realist gem leaves room for young readers to wonder.