The byline from the author website says it all: "A tale of trying to solve a problem by throwing things at it." Floyd's kite is stuck up a tree. In an effort to dislodge it, he throws a series of increasingly unlikely objects (a lighthouse, an orangutan, a house) into the tree after it. Like the old woman who swallow a fly, this delightful tale quickly moves from the quotidian to the ridiculous.
Stylistically, Floyd is a barely drawn boy. A stick figure with dots for eyes, Floyd is less a character than an idea, a chain of thought that follows through to a wonderfully illogical conclusion. The scribbled handwritten font allows the reader to appreciate Floyd's increasing frustration and mental bewilderment.No attempt is made to explain Floyd's superhuman strength in this fantastical tale; surrealism trumps realism throughout. The reader is drawn in to the tale by hints that Floyd is on the verge of a problem solving breakthrough, such as when a ladder, a saw and a fire engine appear. Happily the ludicrous escalation of events continues unabated.
For some critics, Stuck lacks the poignancy of earlier works such as The Heart and the Bottle and Lost and Found but Stuck will undoubtedly keep younger readers satisfied. Grown ups will also enjoy the farcical humour of the tale as well as the cheeky reference to Michael Caine's final line in that great film caper, The Italian Job at the story's conclusion. Jeffers' inimitable design prowess and captivating storytelling technique testify to an artist and writer at the top of his game.