My Rating: 5 Stars
I’ve been thinking about friendship a lot lately, so when I saw Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry on The New York Times Best Sellers list for children’s picture books, I was immediately interested. Unlike several of the books on the list that have had a lengthy stay, such as Press Here by Hervé Tullet, Stick and Stone has, so far, only been on the list for two weeks (Aug. 9 & Aug. 16), and it fell off the list this week. That seems like a shame, since Stick and Stone is a wonderful example of how stories that are just a word or two or three on each page can have great meaning.
Stick and Stone are at first alone, but they soon become great friends. Stick stands up against Stone’s bully, and Stone gets Stick unstuck. Together they make a great pair.
The rhyming text is poignant and straightforward. The illustrations are welcoming and humorous, and they capture the emotion of the story with great skill. They have a lovely simplicity and symmetry that bring out the glow and wonder of the budding friendship and the sadness of the hard moments. Stick and Stone feel like characters you’d want as your friends.
I really enjoy how Stick and Stone shows how to be a friend and that being and having a friend can make life sweeter.
There is only one line that made me cringe a little when I first read it, even though in the context of the story it makes perfect sense. The line is, “Alone is no fun.” Granted, Stone is sitting on one end of a see-saw looking sad. A see-saw really is no fun by yourself, but I often fear that our culture sends the message that being alone is no fun a little too much. After all, being alone can sometimes be the best thing for us, and many of us have to learn in adulthood how to be comfortable with being alone. Some of us even crave alone time. I don’t think the line takes anything away from the story. It belongs there. I just hope there are enough messages out there that say it’s okay to be alone, and that sometimes it’s good to be alone.
Do you have a favorite friendship story? Let me know in the comments section.
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