Friday, February 17, 2012

Books for Us: Stuck


by Oliver Jeffers

Published Nov. 10, 2011 by Philomel (978-0399257377)

I have discovered a new favorite and it fills my heart with joy. Have you too read Stuck, by chance? As author and artist Oliver Jeffers puts it, here is "a tale of trying to solve a problem by THROWING things at it." 

The story: A young boy's kite gets caught in a tree and, by no lack of effort on the part of the boy, there remains stuck. He tries throwing things to loosen the kite, beginning with his favorite shoe. Fail after fail does not dismay the boy as he tosses a ladder, a bucket of paint, an orangutan, the neighbor's house, a whale, and countless other objects into the tree to knock loose the kite. The object that finally frees the kite? Well... you'll have to read to find out, but it certainly won't disappoint.

Objects stuck in the tree.

Our 18-month old loved the bright illustrations and increasingly larger objects. There's a lot of white space framing the illustrations, so it's easy for little eyes to hone directly into the main character's next solution object.

Objects stuck to the katamari
I loved it for its unconventional approach and unexpected ending. Each new object to throw brought a smile to my face and seeing an overcrowded tree with mismatched objects jutting out, such as a milkman, a lighthouse, and an ocean liner, was just too hilarious to forget. As an avid video gamer, I also enjoyed a perhaps unintended reference to Katamari Damacy, a favorite game of mine from the Playstation 2 console in which the Prince of the Cosmos must roll a katamari (a ball which sticks to any object it touches) in order to form the largest sphere possible in the time allotted.

This one's a keeper. A book that kids and their parents can both enjoy and can each find something to love therein.

I'm looking forward to reading more Oliver Jeffers books, especially after hearing him read Stuck in this publisher video.

Curious... what would you throw into the tree to unstuck your kite?

I'm thinking a rocket ship, a drum kit, and a swing set would definitely end up in my arsenal!


  1. I love this author! I am a school librarian too! :)

  2. I love this book too. My 3 year-old grandson has noticed an anomaly in the final illustration. There appears to be a rocket ship above the rhino. Any ideas where that came from?

    1. I like that Jeffers included even more than mentioned in the story. So much fmore fun! Glad your grandson finds so much joy in it, too!

  3. This is one of my favorite authors. I love the Incredible Book-Eating Boy! and Lost and Found. He has a great way of telling simple stories with great meanings and illustrations.


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