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Spike, a spherical tumbleweed with a face, encounters uncomfortable elements as he goes on his trek, including rocky roads and thunder. His offers to befriend various objects and animals are rejected; for example, a chicken is too busy crossing the road, and a flying clock is running late. Spike is thrilled when a tree with a swing offers to play; however, Spike soars too high on the swing, falls off, and lands on an angry slice of crabapple pie. Spike endures other mishaps, including birds who try to “make a nest out of him.” He begins to lose hope until he meets another tumbleweed named Raye. They joyfully tumble away together, and Spike makes up a song about their connection. Eventually, they marry and have tiny tumbleweeds. Young readers will root for the unconventional, earnest protagonist and rejoice when he finds a partner after a calamitous journey. Despite some wacky inclusions (a talking birthday present, a sentient line), the story also features relatable circumstances, as when Spike feels dejected after being told that he can’t attend a party. The book includes fun, quirky elements, including song lyrics. Bartlett’s simple line drawings are offset by solid, colorful backdrops with crayonlike textures and loopy, cartoonish clouds.

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