Monday, April 4, 2016

Stick and Stone (Beth Ferry)

Summary of Stick and Stone (Beth Ferry)
Stick is alone. Stone is alone. Pinecone comes along and makes fun of Stone.  Stick stands up to Pinecone. This act starts their friendship. Together, they "wander, explore, and laze by the shore." A storm occurs that separates them.  Stone does not stop until he finds his friend and rescues him. The duo realize they are better together, than alone. 

Sometimes the author uses a word or phrase, instead of a full sentence. With the rhyme and other sound devices, the simple language has a poetic flow that works well. The illustrations also add to the narrative. Tom Lichtenheld’s watercolor and pencil drawings make a stick, a stone, and a pinecone absolutely adorable and incredibly animated. 

Most children are familiar with the saying, “Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” This book opens up the conversation on two important topics for youngsters—friendship and bullying. Adults can use the book to talk about bullying, to remind children that words do hurt, and to encourage them to "stick" up for others. 

There is another saying, "Leave no stone unturned." Stone represents this idea by searching for his friend, high and low, until he finds him.  Use the story to talk about characteristics of good friends like loyalty, sharing, and helping. 

A more advanced aspect of the book is the use of pun, a humorous way of using a word or a phrase that has more than one meaning. For instance, Stick says: "You rock, Stone." You could discuss the humor in using the phrase "you rock" in relation to Stone as well as the multiple meanings of "rock."  A rock is a "stone mass" in a concrete way.  However, it can also mean "a firm foundation or support."  In this instance, Stone just rescued and "supported" his friend. Slang for "rock" is "to be very good, impressive, exciting, or effective." Stick is telling his friend, "You are awesome or very good."  At the end, Pinecone says, "Sorry I needled you so much" and earlier there is the phrase "That's just what sticks (stick up for people) do." This lesson can be done in an informal way.  First, find out what they know about the meaning of the words.  Then, add one or more meanings.  It can be as simple as a 2 minute conversation after you finish reading.*

One of the sweetest parts is the ending. The book begins with Stick as "one" (as in one person alone) and Stone as "zero" (meaning noting). However, the end says, "Stick, Stone. A perfect 10. To The End." The final scene is them walking together with Pinecone tagging along and apologizing to Stone.  (You may also need to explain the significance of the reference "a perfect 10.") 

I highly recommend Stick and Stone for ages 2-6. 

* Definitions are from


  1. Ohmygoodness, those illustrations are to die for! The story sounds really cute, too. Thanks for the recommendation, and happy reading!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne. I hope you enjoy it!


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