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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stuck, written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers. Harper, 2011. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"And wouldn't you know...
the bucket of paint got STUCK.
Then Floyd tried....

a duck to knock down
the bucket of paint...

a  chair to knock down
the duck..."

Oh, what a riot for young readers! Their uproarious laughter at the absurdity of Floyd's dilemma and his determined solutions to the problem will be heard far and wide. When the book is done, they will beg to listen to it all over again. Isn't that the best part of the fun??

Floyd is a boy, with a kite in a tree. His quest is to get it down, so that he can fly it once more. His first attempt to dislodge it is met with failure, and his favorite shoe is now 'stuck' in the tree with the kite. Not to be deterred, he flings his second shoe after the first...same result. Now, the tree has trapped a kite and two shoes. He doesn't stop there...oh no, he follows with a cat, a ladder, a bucket of paint. Nothing is safe!

As with similar stories where one thing leads to another, and then to another, until it becomes nonsensical will only add to the entertainment value of sharing this new book from Oliver Jeffers. It has his trademark artwork, and childlike printed text. The tree just seems sticky enough in its cloudlike, scribbled form to catch hold of the kite and never let it go. Floyd seems bent on getting it unstuck, but no amount of applied pressure to the tree will release it. Readers can sense the frustration in the print, see it on his face and even enjoy his consternation as he adds one projectile after another. All remain stuck.

There is an abundance of movement on every page. The ever-changing palette of color holds our attention and alters mood while the zaniness of the chosen items will result in snickers of delight. Poor curious whale has no idea that he will be next! I love the page where an idea pops into the space above Floyd's head and he grabs hold and then lets it fly toward the final instrument at hand to free the kite. It works!

Floyd and his beloved kite are off to enjoy the rest of their day together. When he finally falls into bed, exhausted, he has a niggling thought that he may have forgotten something. What COULD it be?

It is the perfect ending to a very funny book!

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