Archive for January, 2012

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Stuck

January 14, 2012

Title: Stuck
Author: Oliver Jeffers
Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Best for Age: 4-8
ISBN: 9780399257377
Publisher: Philomel (2011)
List Price: Hardcover, $16.99

 

Oliver Jeffers (The Incredible Book-Eating Boy, The Great Paper Caper, Up and Down) has done it again. The author/illustrator’s latest picture book, Stuck, is just as quirky and hilarious as his other works.

Jeffers is known for his ridiculously silly plot lines, unique writing, and illustrative style. In Stuck, Jeffers’ protagonist, Floyd, finds himself facing a very ordinary problem: his kite has merely gotten stuck in a tree. But the fun begins when Floyd tries to remedy this problem in a very extraordinary way. Floyd attempts to free his kite by throwing whatever he can find up in the tree as well, including his shoes, a cat, the neighbor’s ladder, the milk-man (“who surely had somewhere else to be”), an orangutan, a lighthouse, and “a curious whale” who was simply “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The talented author/illustrator from Northern Ireland takes a simple everyday experience and escalates the situation until it reaches absolute absurdity. Jeffers uses a mix of mediums to depict his outrageous scenes and his own scrawling and imperfect cursive handwriting for the text itself, which greatly adds to the book’s childish and playful tone.

The ending is a bit elusive; however, this may prompt an interesting discussion with children about how they think Floyd got his kite back. Overall, Stuck is a masterpiece of imagination and whimsy that is sure to entertain and elicit fits of belly laughs from young readers.