Monday, May 11, 2020

Half-Empty, or Half-Full?The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick by Drew Daywalt

Rain falls on the just and the unjust--and upon the Always-Cheery and the Ever-Grumpy!

What started out with being smooshed in the kids' scruffy backpack turns into a global circumnavigation for a crosspatch toy rabbit improbably named Huggie. Huggie's seen better days, but today is a memorable day for him and his unlikely companion, Stick, a stick with an annoying penchant for hyper-optimism. When the kid's bike hits a big bump, the improbable partners fall out and are left behind to irritate each other through an unlikely adventure.

Stick congratulates himself for breaking his companion's fall. Huggie, however, is less sanguine about the landing.

“Dear Diary, There’s a stick up my butt.”

And so this unlikely odd-couple buddy road trip begins.
This is their story. It isn't pretty.

The two world travelers are washed out to sea, stuck on a desert island surrounded by sharks, and meet up with pirates who make them walk the plank. Stick does a jolly cannonball off the plank, while Huggie just gives the buccaneers the hairy eyeball. They get swallowed by a shark, meet up with wild men in the rain forest who want to use Stick for a blowpipe, hitch a ride in a kangaroo's pouch, and pursue any conveyance to get back home.
Stick slept through the llama ride, the train ride, two bus rides, the small plane trip, and 200 miles on the back of a determined Chihuahua..

In the style of his best-selling The Day the Crayons Quit, author Drew Daywalt has penned another another rollicking epistolary road trip tale, The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick (Philomel Books, 2019). This hilarious story is a surefire giggle generator, especially if read aloud by someone who loves to do voices for these comical characters. Artwork by David Spencer is also lively and right on target for this age level. Says School Library Journal, "Spencer's illustrations are sharp and polished, while his cartoon-heavy character design keeps the tone comedic."

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