Friday, July 31, 2009

The Clever Stick

One afternoon this week, I read John Lechner's new book, The Clever Stick, to my kids while they ate lunch, my daughter reread it herself, and then I read it to everybody again. It's a short book and I don't provide especially large lunches. According to my daughter, "It's short and sweet, but it has a point." Get it? A point? It's about a stick. Hyuk. Hyuk. The Clever Stick tells of a stick that is quite clever; it appreciates beauty, enjoys poetry, and solves math problems. There was just one problem in that the stick can't speak and its cleverness goes unnoticed. This was the point which inspired the most discussion from my kids. Is it important that other people recognize your talents? Passionate opinions were expressed. Fortunately for the stick, he learns to draw in the sand, and the world, or at least the plants and animals where he lives, appreciates what he can do with his "voice." The whimsy of this quiet fable appealed to my ten year old son and he and his six year old brother agree that this is "the kind of book they read in school." I believe the "they" means teachers and librarians. I agree with them and think it would be a nice addition to a kindergarten and first grade classroom library.

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