Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Story About the Joy of Friendship

If you, like me, have been lucky enough to have that one friend who stood up for you and believed in you when you didn’t know how to stand up for yourself, then you will enjoy reading this little book about friendship (or reading it to the children in your lives).

Stick and Stone is a picture book about a lonely Stick and and equally lonely Stone who happen to end up next to each other on a park swing set. Pinecone comes along and makes fun of Stone, who is visibly upset by his teasing. Stick jumps down from the swing and chases Pinecone away, then Stick and Stone become inseparable. When a hurricane blows Stick away, Stone must find a way to get his friend back to safety.

The author tells the story mostly using single words and very short sentences, but the message is clear. There is strength, fun, adventure, and comfort in friendship. The rhyming words lend the book a sweet rhythm that highlights the simplicity of the story.

The earthy tones of the illustrations match the stick and stone theme. At the beginning of the story, Stick and Stone are each drawn alone on a nearly empty page and with sad faces, underscoring a feeling of loneliness.  When they find each other, the pages are filled with playgrounds, bubbles, green fields, a mysterious cave, and a soothing beach.

The story has a a subtle anti-bullying message, showing Pinecone teasing Stone while Stick defends him, but in end, they all walk into the sunset together. It's great that Pinecone is able to see the error of his ways and that friendship wins out in the end.

I would recommend this book for teachers and parents alike for its emphasis on the power of friendship.

See you next Wednesday!

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