05 March 2009


by Antoinette Portis

Harper Collins. Picture, Young Reader. Hardback rrp $19.99

What is a stick if it’s not a stick? Ask a child for the answer or ask Antoinette Portis!

Not a Stick allows a child’s imagination run riot. On one page is a plain pen and ink drawing of a pig holding a stick - Hey, be careful with that stick. Then turn the page to find the pig still holding the stick but imagination has taken hold … It’s not a stick.

The funny thing about this book is that it wasn’t just the child’s imagination that was filling in the answer. I too, and my teenage children, were having fun guessing what the stick would turn out to be. My young five-year-old, however, knew exactly what it was and didn’t need any prompting.

The book is hardback, “wrapped” up in wooden paper with simple black and blue drawings. A child will have loads of fun as the stick is transformed into a paintbrush, a fishing rod, a horse and more.

Sometimes the simplest things are best and Antoinette Portis has demonstrated this brilliantly. Not a Stick follows on from Not a Box which we reviewed in Issue 4. These books are brilliant, and not just for young readers. Let your imagination go!

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