Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What Goes Up Doesn't Come Down! A Little Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

Dang! Wouldn't you know it! Floyd goes out to fly his new kite, and of course it heads straight for a tree, where it is now...


Floyd tries to knock it loose by throwing one shoe. That shoe gets STUCK. He throws the other shoe. DITTO. He throws his cat into the tree, and of course the cat can't even get herself down. You'd think Floyd would see the futility of his present solution, but he doesn't.

In turn he throws a duck, a chair, a bike, a car, and an orangutan. And no, the orangutan doesn't fly the kite himself or even throw all Floyd's stuff down like those nice monkeys in the classic Caps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey Business).  So Floyd follows up by heaving more stuff into the tree: a rhino, a truck, a whale and, you know, whatever else is handy, but they all remain securely STUCK. It's getting dark and Floyd needs to come up with a new tactic. He fetches a saw... and ... and... tosses it into the tree, too! The tree is turning into an veritable vertical trash heap. Now what?

Board books must be booming, because noted children's authors and illustrators are rushing to abridge their full-fledged picture books into board-bound editions, and Oliver Jeffers' 2011 award-winning Stuck, ((Read my unabridged review here) already a nearly wordless and visually-based story, lends itself awesomely to an abridged edition, with a new title in which Jeffers engages in a cute bit of wordplay, A Little Stuck (Philomel Books, 2017). Thanks to Jeffers' visually narrative artistic style, this mini-version loses nothing in the translation to a smaller, tot-friendly format. Still droll, with offbeat dry wit and and sly sight gags, this new edition is a mighty mini.

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