Oliver Jeffers
(HarperCollins Children’s Books)

What do you do when your kite gets stuck up a tree? When plaid-shirt-clad Floyd finds himself in this situation, he decides to throw his shoe to try to dislodge it. When that doen’t work, he throws the other one, then a cat, a ladder and a variety of other items, each more ludicrous than the last (a orang-outan, a cruise ship to name a few!). But despite his rather impressive efforts, Floyd is having no luck. Will he ever get that kite back?

A new book by Oliver Jeffers is always, ALWAYS,  a treat. We have loved all of his books, but there is a definite move from his previous offerings with Stuck. Firstly it is the first book that he has entirely created digitally. This is in no way a criticism, because it is just as visually stunning as his other books. The vibrance of the colours is still there, the kooky characters are still there; everything that I love about his style is still there. But there is also a definitely lighter mood; Jeffers’ books are often heavily charged emotionally, and Stuck is once and foremost fun. Based on an incredibly simple idea, the preposterous storyline builds up at a crescendo to the most satisfying, surprising and hilarious ending. The very last page will have adults laughing with glee at the film reference and young audiences will be delighted by the trail of chaos Floyd has left behind him.

Only Oliver Jeffers can deliver such simplicity with such flourish; Stuck celebrates children’s free spirit and unusual way of tackling problems (eg throwing the saw into the tree rather than using it to chop the tree down!) and it is shamelessly crazy fun. Sometimes, only a satisfyingly silly story will do and Stuck delivers, beautifully.

All illustrations © Oliver Jeffers

Thank you so much to the lovely people at HarperCollins Children’s Books who had given me an early proof of Stuck at the FCBG conference. I have since bought a lovely hardback copy too!