'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 10 September 2011

Review: Stuck

It's so thrilling and also very annoying when Oliver Jeffers puts out a new book.

Thrilling because it's always an overwhelming joy to carefully turn and soak up each and every single square inch of every single page.

Annoying because I'm kind of getting lost for words when it comes to describing how head-over-heels I have fallen for his work. Once again. Sigh.

Could it be? Yes it could. Stuck is his best book yet.

It's a little different to his others - not overly different, but palpably different. It's a little more text heavy (though not in the least but laboriously so) and a whole lot more funny than his typical heart-pulling, emotive tales.

I really don't want to spoil it for you... but, basically, our little man Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree. He tugs at it, but it ain't going nowhere.

To get his kite down, he throws up a shoe. Oops. That also gets stuck. To dislodge the shoe (and hopefully the kite) he throws up his other shoe. Then Mitch the cat. Disaster. All stuck.

Next logical choice? A ladder... which he also throws up (and which subsequently gets stuck).

The ensuing toss-ups are a hilarity to behold. The quirk, the whimsy, the charm - it's all there, with rollicking out-loud laughs, to boot. Stuck is just joy joy joy and its text and delectable voice pin it firmly in the category of excellence. It also pins it firmly - and equidistantly - between child- and adult-reading-bliss.

Jeffers' timeless illustrations are just total eye and heart candy. His colour choices, his occasional, retro-inspired colour-blocking... everything just comes together to create perfection. And the ending... it's so so so what a kid would do, it makes you smile - and then smile for the rest of the day, and leave the book on the kitchen counter to pore over throughout that day (and month).

Jeffers is one of these rare book creators who manages to create modern classics, seemingly effortlessly. I covet his work. I treasure his work. I aspire to it. Get the book and stand it up in your child's room as living art. Or put it in your living room as child's art.

Thank you, Mr Jeffers, for decorating my home with your talent.

Title: Stuck
Author/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers
Publisher: HarperCollins, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2011
ISBN: 9780007263868
Format: Hard cover with dust jacket
For ages: 3 – 8
Type: Picture Book