I Am Stuck

by Julia Mills (Author) Julia Mills (Illustrator)

I Am Stuck
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A tender (and humorous!) look at the way tough emotions can make us feel stuck and how the presence of a good friend and a deep belly laugh can make it easier to get through stormy feelings. Complete with back matter to help stuck readers feel better through noticing, smelling, talking, and taking a deep breath, this is a perfect pick for those who loved Grumpy Monkey and The Rabbit Listened.

"Stuck?" asks Duck. Yep, Turtle is flipped over on his shell and can't seem to get un-stuck. Duck suggests wiggling his feet, Kangaroo wants him to wag his tail, and Armadillo says rolling into a ball always does the trick. But Turtle is STILL. STUCK.

Is there anyone who can help?

This wise and humorous story reminds us that when we're feeling down, sometimes what we need most is a friend by our side--and a deep belly laugh--to help us get back on our feet again. A social-emotional learning story about how to navigate frustrating emotions. Features a sweet and funny friendship. Charming artwork depicts adorable, instantly lovable characters. Includes tips for practicing mindfulness.

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Kirkus Reviews

Mills' bright, cartoonish watercolors are enticing. The help of a good friend resolves a sticky situation in this sweet tale.

School Library Journal

K-Gr 2--Charmingly simple illustrations show a turtle on its back, clearly in trouble. In a first-person narration, it describes that it is stuck, and advice from a passing duck to wiggle its feet does not help because, of course, a turtle is not a duck stuck in water. A kangaroo suggests wagging its tail and demonstrates how that helps a stuck kangaroo; once again, this advice is of no use to the turtle. The armadillo's advice is just as moot. A possum skips the advice and keeps the turtle company while the hero of the piece solves the problem. The storytelling is on the luxurious side; despite a spare use of words, the point is clear by the second encounter. However, the possum's comforting companionship will convince even the youngest child that sometimes just being with a friend in trouble can help. VERDICT A slight but effective piece, this book gains strength from truly funny cartoons and a heartfelt message of friendship.--Jennifer LaBurre

Copyright 2023 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

This makes an easy pick for a social/emotional lesson storytime. A sweet look at pals supporting each other. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Clarion Books
Publication date
September 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV015030 - Juvenile Fiction | Health & Daily Living | Mental Health
Library of Congress categories
Helping behavior

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