Hardcover, 48 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Format read: Finished copy
When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.
In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.
Author Beth Ferry introduces us to Stick and Stone, a tree branch and rock who find friendship in one another after Stick stops Pinecone from bullying Stone. However, a storm carries Stick away, and now it's up to Stone to find him, so the two friends can be reunited.
Stick and Stone is a great example of a picture book that shares a number of important life lessons, in a few brief pages. Through the use of cheerfully short sentences and well-thought out rhymes, Ferry charts the evolution of Stick and Stone's friendship, from the loneliness that they initially feel, to the day when Stick sticks up (get it?) for Stone, in the face of a bullying Pinecone.
Ferry is gentle but firm in emphasizing Stick's bravery for refusing to let Stone continued to be bullied, a nicely crafted jumping off point for parents and educators who are looking for potential ways to discuss how to stand up to potential bullying.
And after a hurricane disrupts Stick's colorful, fun-filled outings with Stone and sends him far away, parents and educators will equally appreciate the emphasis on remaining loyal to friends, especially in challenging times. Stone's stalwart determination to find Stick, is just as brave as Stick's initial decision to stand up for Stone - a nice symmetrical play on Ferry's part - and it's also a subtle nod to the idea that friends can show equal strengths in a number of different ways.
Ferry's cheerfully short sentences, are merrily accentuated by Lichtenheld's colorful illustrations.. Using dry media and a bold palette, Lichtenheld captures the warmth of the friendship between Stick and Stone, while also including cheeky details - e.g. Pinecone's exclamation at one point - that will make the story come alive for younger readers.
Bottom line: Stick and Stone is a heartwarming reminder that every obstacle is better faced with a friend by your side. Great for younger readers who are beginning to learn the value and importance of loyalty and friendship.