Stubborn Stanley by Nathaniel Eckstrom

cover image

Scholastic Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781760155025
(Age: 3-5) Recommended. Cooperation. Sharing. Recycling. Stanley is a young inventor who just loves making things. He has put together the Amazing Spin-o swing from an old Hills hoist and swung his toys on it. But even though Stanley comes up with amazing things, he is very stubborn and won't listen to anyone - not for requests to join in the game or advice that is given. Stanley continues to do everything by himself until one day he realises that it is not fun anymore. He needs to come up with a plan to change things and when he meets Martha, another clever inventor, things begin to look up.
Starting with the front cover, the illustrations clearly depict how stubborn Stanley is with his arms folded and Keep Out signs displayed prominently. His name is spelt out with tools like the pencil, measure and spanner and he is dressed in overalls so immediately the young reader is brought into his world of measuring and making. Children will love to see the pictures of his Hills Hoist swing and the washing machine for his long suffering dog, his billy cart and space rocket. When he makes a see-saw the illustrations show a despondent Stanley and it is then that he finally realises that his inventions weren't fun for him. He tries to come up with a plan to change things and it isn't until he spots another invention that he meets Martha, and when they listen to each other's ideas they have lots of fun together.
Themes of the importance of friends, of sharing and of listening to each other permeate this book and its bright illustrations and interesting characters will engage the young child.
Pat Pledger