It’s IMPOSSIBLE to not love Oliver Jeffers. Remember his mustache?!

Well, listen to him read Stuck, and prepare to be enchanted:

I can’t follow an act like that, but let me tell you a few things I love about this book.

1: The endpapers.ย What a great grid of all of those THINGS that Floyd flings up into the tree.

2: The type.

The handwritten text is an excellent choice for the pictures. The scribbled words have a tactile, lifelike quality that matches the vibrancy of the art so perfectly.

3: The easter egg.

I’m not one to linger on copyright pages since my librarian days are behind me, but check out this little gem straight from the mouth of Oliver Jeffers:

{The art for Stuck was created by compositing various scribbles and blotches of paint, made on small pieces of paper, ย all together inside of my computer. This is because I needed to move studios in the middle of making the art, and using this approach seemed like a good idea.}

4: This line.

5: This fakeout mess-up.

6: This spread, that texture, those clouds.

7: That it’s FOR SOMEONE NICE.

Someone like you! I have two copies of Stuck, which is certainly due to having no self-control around picture books and many looming stacks. I’d love to send it to you, and I promise not to throw it in a tree first.

I’ll assume the mailman got down out of that tree in order to deliver it to you.

Just comment on this post by Tuesday, June 12 at midnight PST. I’ll draw a winner with the help of my trusty buddy,, and you can add this to your own looming stack of picture books. It will be a great addition, promise.


  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Another great post, Carter. I laughed out loud the first time I read this book. I’d love a copy for my library!

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Another great post, Carter! This book made me laugh out loud the first time I read it. I’d love a copy for my library. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink


  • storyconnection
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Looks like a fantastic book. I want to read it ready! I LOVE the handwritten typeface. I never thought to do that for a picture book. It’s so organic and comforting. Thank you for sharing!

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Comforting! That’s exactly what it is.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    From someone who also has no control around picture books . . . sigh. You know you’re only feeding an addiction, right?

    Another element of design might be confidence. In someone else’s hands, this would indeed be a collection of squiggles and blotches. It takes absolute daring and faith in one’s own vision to carry this off.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Hey, at least we’re all in this together, Bonnie!

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    And yes…daring and faith in one’s own vision! That’s awesome. You’re awesome.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Oh my goodness, I am SO ENTERING this giveaway! We’ve been getting this book out of the library on rotating three-week cycles. We love it so much! I think the cross-out is my favorite part (besides, you know, the entire story, the stuff that makes me laugh out loud, the last page, and all the art). And I never noticed the Easter egg!

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    It’s like that Brian Regan joke about snow cones…cherry’s my favorite, but grape is also favorite…


  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    I feel that way about all my favorite children’s books.

  • Virginia Rinkel
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Like the idea of using bits and scraps of paper and the computer magic – helps when you’re moving studios.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the recommendation. I think my favourite bit is all the different things thrown into the tree and in the order. Pure nonsense. Perfect combination of elements. I love it! And Oliver Jeffers.
    Apples with Many Seeds

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    You have good taste, Tammy!

  • Anna
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I love your blog, you do such a nice job of talking about why a book is well-designed.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Anna!

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    STUCK sounds like a great book that I…uh, I mean my boys…okay, a book that my family would love! I hear quirky PBs are in. This sounds like a winner to me. Crossing my fingers.

  • Posted June 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I thought this was so hilarious too, but funnily enough my 15 at-the-time- yr old was not impressed (he wants to be an engineer and too much logic is making him B-O-R-I-N-G!). Great choice!

  • Posted June 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Great post, Carter– you’ve presented this book so well. (And I’d never seen that video before.)

    Since I live in France, I’d have to order (buy) books just to get a good look at them–not everything has a ‘look inside’ available– so you provide a great service to me (and let’s face it–you go way beyond a ‘look inside’!). Some books make it to the library here but it takes awhile & they’re translated. Anyway! You help me with my shopping list! Carry on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Posted June 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Sorry!! I did a little damage of my own at the bookstore today. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    i love the way you’ve laid out this book…the artwork, design, layout is enchanting ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Posted June 11, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    I absolutely love that it is dedicated to “someone nice.” Way cool! What a clever premise for a book. Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • Posted June 19, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Such a nice review!