Stuffed by Liz Braswell

Stuffed by Liz Braswell
July 25, 2020 Alexandra Adlawan

4th Grade to 5th Grade

Everyone thinks that Clark is too old to still play with stuffed animals. He’s almost eleven! Bullies target him at school while his mother tries increasingly un-subtle ways to wean him off his toys and introduce more “normal” interests. But Clark can’t shake the feeling that his stuffed friends are important, even necessary. Sometimes they move around in the night, and sometimes in the morning they look a little worse for wear, as if they’ve engaged in battle. And it turns out . . . he’s right.

Clark’s dad is under attack by a nefarious, shadowy monster called a King Derker, and only Clark’s stuffies are able to fight him off. The problem is, no one believes Clark, and when his mom attempts to rid the house of stuffed animals to try to get him to grow up, she’s actually putting Clark’s dad and the entire household in mortal peril. Now it’s up to Foon – a sock animal made by Clark’s grandma – to save the day.While being handmade by a loved one gives Foon extra power, he’s still a brand-new Stuffy.

Does he have what it takes to rid Clark’s house of all its monsters?

 

I saw this book on the shelf at Barnes and Nobles and I knew immediately that I had to read it. The story was not what I expected. I’m not sure what I was expecting. I think I just went into it with my expectation too high.

 

Sleeping with a stuffed animal is nothing to be ashamed of and carrying a stuffed animal around is not thatweird. I still sleep with a stuffed dog toy that I got when I was about 7-years-old.  Here’s a picture of him with my dog, Dude.

While reading, I tried not to be too hard on Clark’s mom since parents just want their kids to be well adjusted and have friends. I just don’t like it when people throw around the word ‘normal’ like it actually means something. Everyone has their own version of normal and people need to stop trying to force their version of normal onto other people. Personally, I think the mom should’ve spent more time worrying about her ailing husband than on trying to turn her kids into her version of ‘normal’, but that’s just my opinion.

 

The world of the Stuffies is vague on details and poorly explained. I would have enjoyed more time in the stuffies/monsters world than in the human world. We don’t even get to read from Foon’s point of view until halfway through the story and up till then there are these weird snippets of narrative that don’t make sense until the end of the story. The few things I was able to understand were pretty interesting. Like how each stuffy has a Monster Protection Factor (MPF) based on their size and if they have fangs, horns, claws, etc. It made me wonder what MPF one of those gigantic stuffed bears have.

 

In conclusion, this story wasn’t what I expected but I still enjoyed reading it and includes step by step on how to make your own stuffy. I wouldn’t be surprised if this story has a sequel because it left off with a few things unexplained. Like why were the shadow monsters attacking the father in the first place?

 

This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Stuffed Animals

A café in Japan offers solo customers a giant stuffed animal to keep them company as they eat.

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