Stickler Loves the World

by Lane Smith (Author)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

From award-winning author/illustrator Lane Smith comes Stickler, a woodland creature who reminds us to appreciate the everyday wonders we often ignore. In a picture book that's both silly and sweet, readers will find Stickler's enthusiasm irresistible and see the world anew.

And just think of the wonders we must pass every day without even noticing!

Stickler, an original character covered in sticks and with multiple ever-changing eyes, loves its little world. With best friend Crow, it shares the wonders of all the amazing things the world has to offer. Stickler is astonished by the ordinary, such as the sun and the stars, as well as fascinated by those things in nature that are often overlooked, such as swirling seed pods falling from the sky. The two pals wander about the world, stopping to appreciate the many marvels along the way, especially its beloved sticks, each one unique.

Stickler Loves the World encourages awareness and mindfulness with a joyous and lighthearted touch. The award-winning illustrator of bestsellers including Penguin Problems and Giraffe Problems brings imagination and humor to a story that features a delightful and original character.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
“Friendship! Happiness! World peace! Maple syrup!” A buoyant, bristly ode to joy.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

The eponymous protagonist of this wonder-oriented picture book, who appeared previously in Smith's A Gift for Nana, has eight googly eyes, a round twiggy body, bat-like ears, and a positive mental attitude that's off the charts. After running down a list of favorite things, Stickler effuses: "Our world has some pretty weird stuff in it!... Oh, to see it all anew. Wouldn't that be amazing?" When a seeming visitor wearing a "cutting-edge space helmet" appears, Stickler immediately takes up a tour-guide role, ignoring clues that the being is actually a bird stuck in an empty tin can. Smith, through Stickler, does the planet proud: elaborately textured oil paint, gesso, and cold wax spreads make sunbeams feel warmly welcoming, huge stones look poetically weather-beaten ("Behold! The joy of ROCKS"), and helicopter seed pods seem like a revelation ("Then there are THESE THINGS dancing for us"). The visitor is eventually revealed to be Stickler's pal Crow, who seems genuinely transformed by Stickler's openhearted joie de vivre-- "You really did open my eyes." Centering irrepressible joy that's a force of nature itself, the work lovingly portrays an "amazing... weird... wonderful" world that's worth experiencing anew. Ages 4-8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)

Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

The message here is not just to find the beauty in the world but to relish in its absolute weirdness and wondrous possibilities. —The Bulletin
Lane Smith
Lane Smith is the author-illustrator of numerous award-winning and bestselling books for children. He is the recipient of the Kate Greenaway Medal, two Caldecott Honors, five New York Times Best Illustrated Book selections, and lifetime achievements from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and the Society of illustrators. He is the illustrator of Penguin Problems, Giraffe Problems, and Cat Problems, all written by Jory John. Lane Smith lives in Connecticut with his wife, Molly Leach, an award-winning graphic designer.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Random House Studio
Publication date
August 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV029000 - Juvenile Fiction | Nature & the Natural World | General
JUV002000 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | General
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Staffs (Sticks, canes, etc.)
Animal fiction

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