Stick and Stone

8 min. Dist. by Weston Woods. 2016. $59.95. ISBN 9780545938143. POP
PreS-Gr 2—This simple story of friendship between a stick and a stone, in which both learn that "alone is no fun," is enhanced by ample animation that makes the faces of Stick and Stone more expressive than in the source material, the Beth Ferry/Tom Litchtenheld picture book. Even the shadows of these characters pulse with movement. Waves spill onto the shore, swings swing, and raindrops splash. Spritely electronic music by Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young accompanies the action, and the closing song and lyrics are extremely catchy and will have viewers humming along. The mean Pinecone's taunting laughter and "nanananana" are the classic taunts of a bully, and sounds of waves, gulls, rain, and thunder intensify the mood. All aspects work together to make a hurricane a truly scary event, and so much is conveyed in the spare text and expressed perfectly by narrator Maxwell Glick. Students will be eager to share experiences they've had that may be similar to those of the relatable Stick and Stone or just to think about them. Older audiences will enjoy the wordplay—Stick gets stuck, and Stone rocks.
VERDICT Young viewers will be inspired to discuss friendship, loyalty, tolerance, and how they might react to a bully.

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