Wednesday, January 17, 2018

I Love You, Stick Insect by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Ah, the course of true love never runs smoothly.

At least for Stick Insects. My earliest memory of "School Pets" was a tank full of these weird blighters. For some reason, they were deemed the most interesting pets for a classroom of kids who (certainly in primary school for me at least) had no real experience of animals other than dogs and cats.

Our heroic lovelorn figure in "I Love You, Stick Insect" by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros has fallen head over heels in love.

That wouldn't be such a bad thing, love is a fine thing and worth fighting for after all. Only Stick Insect's perfect new partner, a stick.

No not a stick insect, a real honest-to-goodness stick.

The story hinges on the perfect awkwardness of seeing someone so blissfully happy in their ignorance that their friends don't know if it's the right thing to do - to break the spell, to tell the poor lovesick individual the truth. You know what it's like when you're the friend of someone who is so recklessly intent on their love that they do not see disaster ahead.

Needless to say, Stick Insect's story DOES actually have a happy ending (which we won't spoil for you). It looks like 2018 is kicking off with a truly original picture book that steps sideways away from the norm, offering up a beautiful story with heart. Oh, and sticks.

C's best bit: Stick insect's perfectly blissful ignorance.

Daddy's favourite bit: A hugely original idea this, though there is a lesson for us all here about unrequited love and the value of your friends giving you the odd wake up call from time to time. Nicely done Chris, nicely done!

"I Love You, Stick Insect" by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is out now, published by Bloomsbury (kindly supplied for review). 


Rachael Bellis said...

I'm really looking forward to this one, glad to hear it got a double thumbs up from you! Have you read Tadpole's Promise? It's am older one by Jeanne Willis, but it's great and I think you'd love it if you liked this.
Have to say I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the new picture books in store so far this year, so this has given me a glimmer of hope!

ReadItDaddy said...

Oh yes, I do remember "Tadpole's Promise" by Jeanne Willis - gosh that takes me back (I sometimes forget that we never used to review everything we got from the library when we started out but have happy memories of that story, was very cute!)

So far, from the books we've had for review (and it seems crazy that our 2018 schedule has already cleared over 100 picture and middle grade books) I think we're definitely seeing some fantastic stories coming through again so there are definitely lots of surprises ahead.

Thanks for stopping by to comment, really does mean a lot when people come by and comment on our reviews and we do read every single one!

Rachael Bellis said...

It came into work this week, so I read it immediately! Love it! Both Stick Insect and Tadpole's Promise are on my Valentines table 😂