Stubborn Stanley (Nathaniel Eckstrom, Scholastic)
Stanley is a messy-haired, freckly boy in red overalls. Depicted on the cover, he has his arms crossed in a determined stance and his name cleverly spelt out with various tools (a measuring tape, a mallet, a spanner). Stanley loves creating things. Some of his efforts include a spinning ride for his toys made from a Hills Hoist, and soap suds for his bath thanks to a re-jigged washing machine. He’s so prolific he creates something every day, but he refuses to let others help; he’s a one-person team. Soon he realises that despite his ability to come up with many wonderful inventions, it’s not really that much fun with no-one else around to play with them. Enter Martha. She’s a perfect match for Stanley, as she is also a creative genius. Together, stubborn Stanley and his new friend collaborate, and their combined brainpower and building smarts deliver even bigger and better creations. A simple, engaging story about the joys of cooperation, Nathaniel Eckstrom’s first solo picture book is great for preschoolers trying to grasp the concept of listening and sharing. The illustrations are bright and charming, and the cobbled-together objects show an upcycling ingenuity.
Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist and reviewer and the books editor of the Big Issue