Stickler Loves the World

Random House Studio. Aug. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780593649831.
K-Gr 2–Stickler, who first appeared in A Gift for Nana, gets its own picture book. Stickler is a strange creature from the dark forest. It certainly looks odd, with eight eyes, an oversized nose, and branchy hair, but Stickler is not the least bit scary. In fact, it is full of joy and wonder at the world around it and can serve as an inspiration for all to look upon their everyday surroundings with fresh eyes. This includes a space being Stickler encounters one day in the forest while it gathers its absolutely most favorite item: sticks! Stickler guides the space being through the forest, showing it the beauty of the sun, flowers, waves, and fish in a nearby waterway, as well as the feel of wind and the wonder of rocks. When Stickler adjusts the new creature’s space visor to better see the colors of a sunset, Stickler is surprised to find that it was its friend Crow, with an empty tin of peas stuck on his head, all along! Though Crow could not see all Stickler described firsthand, Stickler’s excitement and enthusiasm for the wonders of the forest give him a new appreciation for the beauty surrounding him. Illustrations are an interesting combination of painting techniques used to give the pictures real-world texture while additional pencil drawings are rendered digitally. Illustration colors include gentle pastels that contrast nicely against the bursts of colors from flowers, trees, and the night sky.
VERDICT A delightful book intended to encourage readers to appreciate the simple beauty of everyday things, this selection would make a great addition to a picture book collection.

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