Reviews for Stuck

Booklist Reviews 2011 December #1
Floyd's kite is stuck in a tree, so to try to knock it down, he throws up first one shoe and then another. Stuck and stuck. Gradually, he throws increasingly large and unlikely objects at the tree to try to retrieve his kite--all to no avail--and when a fireman stops to offer assistance, Floyd throws him and the fire truck up, too. In the end, Floyd has an epiphany that releases the kite, but he fears that he is still forgetting something. With smooth pacing, Jeffers organizes the action into theatrical scenes, more than once suggesting the climax only to snatch it away and hurl ever more stuff into the burgeoning treetop. The humor is well calibrated to its intended young audience, who will happily grab at the red herrings and delight at the subsequent surprise turns. Jeffers' scribbly gestures and buoyant composition set a tone of whimsical hysteria, while the color palette reflects Floyd's alternating industry and frustration. With deceptive simplicity and sophisticated illustration, this comic look at problem solving will have wide appeal. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
Floyd's kite is stuck in a tree. He throws his shoe to knock the kite loose, setting off a humorously absurd chain of events. A random assortment of increasingly larger objects gets tossed up in his attempts to knock down the previous item. Jeffers's spare illustrations have plenty of kid appeal, meshing nicely with the comical story line.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #2
Everything but the kitchen sink gets tossed up a tree to help Floyd retrieve his kite--oops, there goes the kitchen sink too! Floyd has one approach, and one approach only, to kite recovery: Throw something up to knock the kite down. He flings up a bucket of paint, the milkman, real trucks, a full-size lighthouse and "a curious whale, in the wrong place at the wrong time." Everything sticks. Jeffers' light-handed illustrations are hilariously droll. Some pages symbolize mood with a single color, boy and tree both murky brown with irritation or red with frustration. The text is handwritten in a childish yet legible scrawl, with liberal use of uppercase letters. The comically deadpan narration never overtells, moving straight from "Floyd fetched Mitch" (a cat) to "Cats get stuck in trees all the time, but this was getting ridiculous." Sometimes Floyd verges on solutions, but he always lapses into the familiar pattern: "Floyd fetched a ladder. He was going to sort this out once and for all… / … and up he threw it. / I'm sure you can guess what happened." Finally, Floyd fetches a saw, holds the blade carefully against the tree trunk--"and hurled it up the tree." The giggle-inducing conclusion leaves some stuff, um, up in the air. Floyd's stubbornness and the smorgasbord-filled tree remain funny through repeated readings, offering kids the special glee of knowing more than the protagonist. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #2

In an exuberantly absurd tale that recalls the old woman who swallowed a fly, a boy named Floyd goes to ridiculous lengths to remove his kite from a tree. Floyd tosses his sneakers, then his cat, into the leafy branches, and when they get stuck, too, he fetches a ladder. "He was going to sort this out once and for all... and up he threw it. I'm sure you can guess what happened." Each spread pictures Floyd pitching another item into the tree and growing increasingly frustrated: a bike, a kitchen sink, the milkman, a fire truck, and "a curious whale, in the wrong place at the wrong time... and they all got stuck." Jeffers (The Incredible Book Eating Boy) pictures the extravagant accumulation in abstract pencil-and-gouache doodles, with hand-lettered text to set a conversational tone. The tall, narrow format reinforces the tree's height in comparison to small, stick-figure Floyd. Jeffers's droll resolution--the kite comes down, although afterward Floyd "could have sworn there was something he was forgetting"--is testament to the boy's single-mindedness and the chaos he leaves in his wake. Ages 3-5. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 December

PreS-Gr 2--Floyd has a problem: his kite is stuck in a tree. Employing kid logic, he throws his favorite shoe to dislodge the wayward object--to no avail. The imaginative hero fetches a host of other items: a friend's bicycle, the kitchen sink, a long-distance lorry, the house across the street, a curious whale ("in the wrong place at the wrong time"). Alas, each item joins its predecessors, lodged in the foliage. Jeffers's deadpan descriptions and the ludicrous scale of Floyd's selections are laugh-out-loud hilarious. As the child carries the house on his head, his neighbor leans out the window, commenting, simply: "Floyd?" Then there is the incongruity between expectation and reality. When he retrieves a ladder, firemen, and finally a saw, readers will surely expect climbing or cutting, but no. Everything gets pitched up, including the light bulb that hovers over the child's head, just before he achieves success. The tree, which continually changes color (and therefore, mood), is a dense, scribbled, layered specimen, perfect for harboring the odd assemblage. The text appears to be hand-lettered, as if written by a youngster. In concert with the quirky, mixed-media caricatures, supported by stick legs, it yields a childlike aesthetic sure to tickle the funny bones of its target audience--and of the adults who share the story with youngsters.--Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

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