Thursday, 13 June 2013

Stick Man

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson, illustration by Axel Scheffler (Scholastic UK)
PB RRP $7.99
ISBN 978-1-407132– 32-7
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Stick Man lives happily at home with his family in his family tree. One day he strays too far on his morning jog and is reluctantly taken on a long journey. He is retrieved by a dog, used as a Pooh-stick by a child, taken as a hook for a bag, and all the while Stick Man gets further and further away from his family tree and his Stick Lady Love. How is he ever going to get home again? Will someone rescue him?

I have to confess to being a huge fan of Julia Donaldson’s rhyming stories. They are just so quirky, amusing, and lovely to read aloud. This one is no exception.

They do tend, however, to have many more words than are traditionally present in picture books. This makes them perfect for the early reader form, of which this edition of Stick Man is. And even as an early reader the illustrations are a huge part of the story. Scheffler’s style is instantly recognisable with his bold bright colours, detailed scenes and wonderfully expressive characters – people, animals and stick men. There is always something peeping around a corner or hiding behind a tree.

This is a very entertaining story with wonderful rhythm and will suit six and seven year-olds learning to read. It will also be enjoyed by much younger children as a fabulous read aloud.

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