Stick and Stone

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Stick and Stone Book Poster Image
Charming art distinguishes story about friends and bullies.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Very basic physics concepts are illustrated when Stone tries to free Stick: momentum, inclines, trajectory, mass, force, catapulting. There's also wordplay, especially with the words "stick" and "rock."

Positive Messages

Having a friend is better than being alone. Friends stick up for each other. If you're having trouble solving a problem, be persistent. Sometimes the most effective solution is an unusual one.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two friends stick up for each other. Stick doesn't allow Pinecone to bully or taunt Stone. Stone is persistent when looking for his friend and resourceful when he finds him. Pinecone, the bully, apologizes in the end.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry is a simple, familiar friendship tale told in rhyme that's brought to life by the wildly charming art of Tom Lichtenheld (Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site). Who knew that a stick and a stone could be so expressive? When Stone gets bullied by Pinecone, Stick sticks up for him, and the two new friends bond big-time until a hurricane washes away Stick. Stone searches everywhere for him, eventually repaying Stick's original kindness by freeing him from the mud. There are lessons about friendship and how to respond to bullying, as well as pure pleasure in the art.

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What's the story?

In STICK AND STONE, the two title characters are both alone and lonely -- until they meet at the playground. There, Stone gets taunted by Pinecone for falling off a swing, and Stick sticks up for his new friend, telling Pinecone to "vanish." After that, the two are fast friends, until a hurricane washes away Stick. Stone searches long and hard for his friend and finally finds him stuck upside down in a puddle. Stone devises an ingenious plan to unstick his friend that involves rolling down a hill, bouncing off a log, and crashing into the puddle. "You rock," says Stick, and Stone replies, "Friendship rocks too."

Is it any good?

This simple and familiar friendship story with a dash of bully is brought gloriously to life by outstanding illustrations. The story's built on some fun plays on the words "stick" and "rock," to correspond with the two main characters, and it's told in rhyme that occasionally tends toward the awkward. But Lichtenheld is expert at teasing out story and animating the inanimate; he's previously illustrated books about construction vehicles and clouds, and here he renders Stick and Stone with charm and expression to spare.

On a page in which the text reads simply, "They wander," he's imagined Stick and Stone cutting through a lush field, Stone rolling through the tall grass to depress a path for his friend. He even creates origin stories for the two in the endpapers: Stick is pictured falling off a tree, and Stone is shown spewing out of a volcano. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about bullies. Do you stick up for friends? What do you do if someone taunts them?

  • How does the illustrator give a stick and a stone movement and feelings?

  • How does Stone free Stick when he's stuck? What would be impossible for a stone to do?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and friendship tales

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