The Invisible

By Alcides Villaça

(Tapioca Stories, 2020)

Who What Where?

The Invisible written by Alcide Villaça, features a mischievous young boy who enjoys the wonders of invisibility in this playfully illustrated book. The result of this unusual gift is the young boy’s ability to walk through life fulfilling his greatest desires. He is never scolded, reprimanded, or found out, and thus experiences a sense of freedom, but is there something out there that’s better than being invisible? Is being invisible fulfilling if there is no one to share it with? If no one knows it’s you, but you? Maybe being unseen is not all that it seems.  

Unearthing the relationship between the invisible and visible, while masterfully illustrating the young boy’s imperceptible state, the reader joins the narrator on his journey of self-discovery. The text pays homage to the author’s childhood, and his superpower of invisibility, a story that readers of all ages will enjoy.

Principle Themes:

Two of the themes throughout the text include human connection and internal growth. In the beginning invisibility means the narrator can do whatever he wants. However, invisibility doesn’t end up being as fulfilling as one might think, “if someone is never seen, do they know they exist?”Invisibility creates a barrier between the narrator and those with whom he interacts. The young boy craves human connection and in order to achieve that he wants to be seen and known. Thus, the young boy grows towards a different superpower, imagination. This internal change within the narrator is a great example of his growth, it doesn’t always have to mean growing up, but rather growing into different interests and new skills.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is imagining the invisible better than being invisible?
  2. Why do you think the narrator tires of his superpower?
  3. What would you do if you were invisible?
  4. What are your superpowers?

More Resources:

If you’d like to see more of the illustrators unique and playful literary artwork, check out his website:

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