The Missing Piece
Making jigsaws is the only way Sunny can feel complete. When Gran gives her an extra-special jigsaw, it sends Sunny on a journey to find the last part of the puzzle. As Sunny explores Gran’s street and makes new friends, she realises she was missing more than a jigsaw piece.
Reading this feels like stepping inside a poem; it’s filled with eloquent and evocative descriptions. Houses ‘hug’ the ‘curve of the road’, looking like ‘little teeth on a street that was smiling.’ Finishing a jigsaw elicits a ‘honey-trickle of happiness’ in Sunny, while an unfinished puzzle makes her tummy flip like a ‘fish out of water’. Scents of spices, warm bread and ocean breezes permeate the homes that Sunny visits, as well as the reader’s senses.
The jigsaw itself is a powerful metaphor for how people are connected and why it’s important for us to interact and form relationships with each other. Even though each family on Gran’s street is different, they fit together perfectly. The spectacular illustrations are just as lyrical, with striking colours, interesting textures, gorgeous landscapes and plenty of movement. Bees are an effective visual metaphor, representing Sunny’s happiness and becoming greater in number as it increases.
Sunny and Gran have a beautiful bond and their hugs generate a palpable warmth and cosiness. We don’t know where Sunny’s parents are or why she seeks solace in jigsaws, leaving a puzzle for the reader to solve. A poignant story that promotes empathy and encourages little readers to find comfort in the company of those around them, rather than isolating themselves.