It all began when H got his brother’s frisbee stuck in a tree. He tried pushing and pulling the tree but it wouldn’t come unstuck.
The trouble really began when he threw his ball to knock the frisbee loose … and that got stuck too!
He grabbed their cans of Dr Pepper and hurled them up the tree one by one, and unbelievably they all got stuck as well.
I think Oliver Jeffers may have stalked my teenaged husband.
The boys’ story happily concludes with the return of both toys in circumstances involving the degeneration of knicker elastic and the use of a 20′ pole found in a car park; although somewhere in the world six cans of Dr Pepper still nestle into the bristly foliage of a palm tree.
As for Stuck‘s Floyd, well he has to try just a little bit harder to get his kite back. It’s a genuinely funny book, rapidly setting aside all rules of physics with a wonderful child-like imagination that makes it seem not only reasonable but probable to throw a little boat into a tree to knock down an orang-utan, and then a big boat to knock down the little boat.
There’s a lot of the whimsy that I’d associate with Edward Lear, but with just enough of a fingernail grasp on reality, at least at the beginning, that this could just perhaps have actually happened.
And as her Daddy reads it with all the sympathetic verve only a not so small boy who has also lost his toy up a tree could produce, Kitty thinks it is absolutely hilarious.
That’s really the aim of all these stories. I know my girls will learn to read in due course, but for me that’s not enough. I’m trying to teach them to love reading, to devour books purely for pleasure, to see that stories are the window to your own imagination, to know that for every book that you find a bit ‘meh’ there will be a hundred that you can’t bear to put down, and to have a little library of favourite friends. The day I find them finishing ‘just one more chapter’ under the bed covers by torchlight, or squinting in the evening sunshine peeking around the corner of a blackout blind because the morning is too long to wait, I’ll know I’ve got it right.