Two weeks ago I buckled down and did my obligatory clothes management clean-up of the boys closet.  It generally involves going through every drawer and putting things into piles such as: Basement for Nate, Devon, Salvation Army, Girls Clothes Nate Wore Home From School, and Rags.  Given the weather has finally changed, I decided it was time to whittle it down to a more manageable number of items, moving the drawers from super stuck to marginally stuck.

It also occurred to me, several weeks ago, that it possibly has not rained, to this degree, in Nate’s lifetime.  Except maybe that one torrential nap time downpour.  Now there’s a sobering drought-tolerant thought.

And if you can believe, I packed-up Nate’s six “Black and Blue One Superman Shirts.”  Last year at this time we were eyeball deep into this particular Superman shirt obsession.  He wouldn’t wear his snow coat in Yosemite because it was covering-up his Superman shirt.  I’m pretty sure that in August when we went to Portland, I only packed navy blue short-sleeved Superman shirts.  And his one Azores bull shirt.

Somehow between August and now, he has dropped the Black and Blue One Superman Shirt obsessive compulsion like a hot potato.  Wouldn’t be caught dead in one.  For a few weeks he only wanted his bull shirt.  Lately his favorite is his Transformer shirt which might possibly be a 2T.  Overall, he’s shown a new level of variety and flexibility in the range of his wardrobe.  There are far fewer episodic crying fits as he digs through the dirty clothes hamper and implores me to wash and dry his favorite shirt in less than three minutes.

Primarily he’ll only wear shirts with someone or something that flies, but I even got him into a character-free striped shirt with an orange pocket on Sunday.  “I like orange.  Orange is my favorite color.”

And being stuck in Nate’s wardrobe rut is my effortless segway into our next book: Stuck by Oliver Jeffers.

Now Mr. Jeffers is also the author and illustrator of one of Nate’s favorite books, How To Catch A Star.  Every time we read that book, Nate has to ask, “Why he sitting like a cwab?”  With a similar narrative style and artistic proclivity for footless boys, Stuck looked like just the thing for our almost four-year-old.

In a nutshell: Floyd’s kite gets stuck in a tree.  He throws his shoe up to try and dislodge it, only to exacerbate his problem.  He begins throwing household items into the tree and then households and then more and more crazy and absurd things until finally he has a tree full of firemen and whales.  In the end, his kite falls out and he nonchalantly goes to bed with a nagging feeling that he’s forgetting something.

Overall it gets great giggles.  The illustrations are engaging and it can be the jumping off point for all sorts of conversations.

Families can talk about: What would you do if your kite got stuck in a tree?  How many ways can you brainstorm to get a kite out of a tree?  When should he have stopped to rethink his approach?  At what point do you think it’s unrealistic that Floyd could throw those things?  What does unrealistic mean?  What kind of steroids do you think Floyd might be taking?  Is it a good idea to throw a whale?  How will he breathe?  How safe is it to throw a saw?  What’s a unibrow?  And the question we’ve all been dying to ask: How does Floyd wear shoes when he doesn’t have feet?


Stuck by Oliver Jeffers

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