Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

As some of you may know, our girls have gone to a wonderful play-based preschool here in our neighborhood. One of the only teacher-driven times in their day is storytime, which takes place at the very end of the morning and focuses on repeated readings of the same book throughout the week. I’ve discovered many of our favorite books there (like Strictly No Elephants, which happened to be the first book I reviewed on Instagram!). One favorite that both girls got to experience during their time at this school was Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers… A book we’ve since checked out from the library multiple times (really, by now we should just buy it!) and appreciate so much that it made my list of 90 picture books to read in 90 days of summer! So, what makes Stuck so loved in our house?

Stuck is just plain fun! Written and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, Stuck is the story of Floyd and his kite that gets stuck in a tree. Floyd spends the rest of the day trying to get his kite out of the tree, but nothing he tries works… And in fact, everything he tries leads to more and more getting stuck right along with the kite! Kids and adults alike root for Floyd and his kite, and we laugh at the absurdity of some of the things Floyd can do (such as launch his neighbor’s house at the tree…). A few times in the book, you think Floyd has finally come to his senses, but, alas… rather than climb that ladder he borrowed from a neighbor, he tosses it at the kite, too! In the end, Floyd uses a saw to save the day, but Jeffers throws a brilliant twist in this resolution as well.

Silly story aside, Jeffers uses so much so wonderfully to draw children into the story! The opening page begins, “It all began…” so we know from the first three words that we’re in for an adventure! Jeffers handwrote the narrative for the story, giving it an endearing and childlike voice (especially given the liberal use of capital letters to emphasize emotion and frustration). The illustrations range from simple vignettes to full-page spreads, and they’re bright and colorful (and also sometimes laugh-enducing, such as the 18-wheeler labeled “Some Stuff”). Jeffers also uses small speech bubbles here and there that always make my girls giggle (such as the neighbor who calls, “WAIT TILL I TELL YOUR MOTHER!” from the tree).

Stuck is absurd, it’s silly, it’s over-the-top, and it’s one that you and your kids will both enjoy reading over and over again. Though I tend to share books with strong social-emotional messages or lessons, we love books that make us laugh, too, and this hits the spot!

Publishers recommend for ages 3-7, but this is enjoyable for kids and adults of all ages.

If you liked this, check out:

What are your favorite laugh-inducing books to read with your children?

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