The Stray – Picture Book Review

Story and Illustrations By: Molly Ruttan
Published On: May 19, 2020

In The Stray, a family is out for a walk when a spaceship crashes nearby. There amongst the rubble is ‘the stray’. He’s a cross between a slug, a dog, a frog and maybe a few other things. One thing is for certain: he is a cutie! They decide to take him home and give him the name Grub. They give him lots of love and make him part of the family. They even try to teach him a few tricks, but soon they realize that perhaps he has a home somewhere else that he misses.

The story is a simple one, but oh – the illustrations really help this picture book come alive. To me they have an earthy-feel to them both in color and in texture (I apologize, I have no art knowledge or skill to accurately describe them). Greens, browns, yellows, and even earthy greys and blues are used, but also there is the feeling of dirt and land flying all around them in the pictures as they are speckled with this in the background. The illustrations add a lot of humor to the story since objects around them fly up in the air no matter where they go or what they do. Neighbor washing his motorcycle (on the ground)? Not anymore when Grub comes around. All while the family seemingly finds this normal.

All in all, this is a really cute picture book with fun pictures too.

Thanks to Ededweiss and Nancy Paulson Books for the advanced reader copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.


When a family goes for a stroll one morning and encounters an adorable little creature with no collar or tag (who just happens to be sitting in the wreckage of an unidentified crash-landed object), they happily adopt the lovable stray. They name him Grub and set about training him, but that works surprisingly . . . poorly. Taking him for a walk is an unexpected adventure, too. As hard as they try to make Grub feel at home, it’s just not working. Could he already have a family of his own? Maybe he isn’t really a stray, after all–just lost. But how on earth will they be able to find his family when he seems to come from somewhere . . . out of this world? 

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