illus. by Irene Dickson. 32p. Candlewick. Jul. 2018. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781536200164.
PreS-Gr 1-How many uses are there for a good sturdy stick? Dickson lists and illustrates them in her circular, simply worded, to-the-point title. A handy piece of wood can be used as a walking aid, a musical instrument, and something for a dog to fetch. It might even lead one to making a new friend. A fair-skinned, brown-haired boy, wearing a red hoodie and green boots, spends a day playing with his dog. The mixed media illustrations are presented in clear, bright, eye-catching colors. The old-fashioned look of the images and the child's joy in uncomplicated activities harken back to another time. A large font and 13 sentences, most of them only two or three words long, will appeal to beginning readers. After a dark-skinned, curly-haired girl discovers the same stick floating in a stream, the two children find yet another practical application for "a stick, a very useful stick."
VERDICT An inviting read-aloud about the outdoors and the simple wonders to be found in its exploration. A fun title for storytime or small group sharing before venturing on a nature walk.-Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI

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