Elegant and beautifully written this is a charming Frankenstein-esque tale about forging friendships, loyalty and finding a place to call home.
Stitch has spent all his 584 day so far an isolated castle with an eccentric genius professor, along with his friend Henry Oaf, who sleeps in a cage, his pet brown mouse and a treasured book of exploration. He has been told not to disturb the professor. But when the professor’s nephew Professor Hardacre arrives at the door with his assistant, Alice, Stitch’s world turns upside down. The professor is found dead and his nephew quickly takes over the workshop hoping to ‘improve’ his uncle’s handiwork and in particular Henry.
When Henry finds out that he has been created by the professor he runs away and Stitch soon follows to look for him – he has always wanted to explore. In turn, Alice comes to Stitch’s rescue as he is about to be captured and sold to a freak show. Alice explains that the outside world is not kind to people who are different – she has a humped back but Stitch doesn’t think this is important and understands that every person is unique and different in their own way.
Stitch and Alice offer kindness to an old man which delays their search for Henry and then Stitch finds a baying mob who have captured Henry and are about to burn him on a pyre for being a so-called ‘monster’. Stitch manages to turn everything round and saves the day by showing that what is means to be human is not necessarily what you see on the surface.
Moving and powerful, yet delicate, this story celebrates the uniqueness of every individual. It would be a great one for classroom discussion.