Sticky, Sticky, Stuck!
Michael Gutch, illus. by Steve Björkman. Harper, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-199818-8
Björkman’s (Split! Splat!) hyperbolic, candy-colored cartoons are well-suited to the over-the-top premise of this earnest but long-winded story by newcomer Gutch. Annie’s parents and siblings are always plugged in to their electronic devices, and she feels as though no one has time for her, “Except to tell her that she was sticky!” They aren’t wrong: Annie either has bubble gum on her face and hands, chocolate syrup dripping from her elbow, or marshmallows stuffed in her ears. But Annie’s messiest moment comes when she tries to make a honey and peanut butter sandwich for herself. Startled by her mother, Annie precipitates a chain reaction that lands the whole family in a pile—all stuck together. They manage to call (and then call off) firefighters, after agreeing that being stuck together beats texting friends and playing video games alone. The prose can be overly wordy and, despite the intended silliness, kids may have trouble believing that a little honey and peanut butter could cause so much trouble. But there’s no missing the book’s message about family priorities. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Mark McVeigh, the McVeigh Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/29/2013