The Epic Adventures of Huggie & Stick

illus. by David Spencer. 40p. Philomel. Oct. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780399172762.
K-Gr 2—Huggie, a blue stuffed rabbit, and the appropriately named Stick spend most of their time in Reese's backpack. But an unfortunate circumstance sends them both tumbling out of the satchel and into the ocean. Now the pair must travel across all of the continents to get back to their owner. Much like Daywalt's wildly popular The Day the Crayons Quit, this story is told through a series of letters or journal entries, with Stick giving an overly optimistic view of their day's adventure, followed by Huggie's less glowing take on what really happened. For example, on their stop in Africa, Stick comments on how much fun it was to be in a race, and how nice it was for a giant fish to offer them a ride in its mouth. Huggie clarifies on the following page that they were chased by a rhino, they jumped into the ocean to escape, and then were swallowed by a shark. This pattern is followed throughout, which may make it feel repetitive, though it is hilarious to see what new calamites have befallen the two. Spencer's illustrations are sharp and polished, while his cartoon-heavy character design keeps the tone comedic.
VERDICT A strong addition.

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