Stuck (Oliver Jeffers; Harper Collings Children’s Books, 2011)
I am developing a writer’s crush on Oliver Jeffers. I have included another of his picture books in my blog (The Heart and the Bottle, HarperCollins, 2010) and also recently fell in love with This Moose Belongs to Me (Philomel Books, 2012). His trademark penmanship and whimsical drawings also graced the pages of the wildly popular and hilarious Crayon books (authored by Drew Daywalt; Philomel and Harper Collins, 2013 and Philomel, 2015). There are many more, and even newer, titles of his that I need to check out.
Stuck caught me completely off guard the first time I read it–the unexpected occurs, more than once. A person can anticipate a kite getting stuck in a tree, a shoe, and maybe even a cat. But when Floyd fetches a ladder, one thinks he will finally retrieve his stuck items. The reader does not anticipate that it too will get stuck in the tree. Nor the saw that Floyd eventually fetches. The absurdity builds until finally Floyd manages to dislodge his kite from the tree. The ending also leaves the reader with a smile and a feeling of wanting to read Stuck again to see if it elicits the same emotion on subsequent reads. I have confirmed that it does.