Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Clever Stick

The Clever Stick

John Lechner
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Candlewick, 2009   ISBN: 978-0763639501

There once was a stick who was very intelligent. He would “sit in the sand and think up all sorts of clever things.” He would make up poetry, and contemplate the beauty of nature. Though the stick could think about so much, there was one thing that he couldn’t do. The stick could not speak, and therefore he could not share his thoughts, ideas, and poems with anyone else. It was a very frustrating situation.

One day the stick tried to say hello “to all the animals, insects, and flowers” by bowing, but he ended up tripping on a pebble instead. What made things even worse was that no even noticed that the stick had fallen over. Feeling utterly dejected, the stick “dragged himself all the way home,” which is when he discovered something that would change his life forever.

One would not usually think of a stick as being an engaging children’s book character, but the stick in this story is not your average stick. With his wonderful expressive illustrations and minimal text, John Lechner tells a story that will resonate with anyone who has doubted him or herself. The stick shows us that we should never give up hope, and that all of us have greatness in us.