The Clever Stick by John Lechner

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The Clever Stick by John Lechner

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Kids will get the slightly surreal idea of a stick that has wonderful ideas but has no way of expressing them. It's a sweet picture book that's well-worth a look.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 40 Date: August 2009
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 978-1406322231

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The clever stick has all manner of wonderful ideas and things he wants to share with the world, but he has no mouth. He wants to write poetry, help others and tell roses how lovely they look, but he can't. With a heavy heart (I think sticks have hearts even if they don't have mouths) he drags himself home, and discovers that he does have a way of expressing himself after all.

I really liked the abstract nature of The Clever Stick, and children will love the slightly surreal idea too. It's different to most children's books, but it's not too confusing for even the youngest book fans. They'll get it. Once they do and they run with the idea, they'll discover a sweet tale of trying to find your place in the world, developing, and discovering hidden talents.

You might think it difficult to make a stick look interesting, but John Lechner's illustrations are lovely to look at. There's plenty going on in the background to keep the interest levels up. Strange as it sounds, the stick's personality does come through. They aren't the sort of illustrations you'll rave about and insist everyone looks at, but if they hadn't been done as well as they are, it would be noticeably lacking.

The Clever Stick is a gentle and delightful story that anyone who hasn't yet learned to read for themselves will love. The vocabulary is clear and understandable, yet not simplistic. The core idea is intriguing and well-executred. It's well-worth a look.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Smile! by Leigh Hodgkinson also runs with an abstract concept to create a wonderful picture book. One True Bear by Ted Dewan shares The Clever Stick's gentle sensibilities, and is equally uplifting.

Buy The Clever Stick by John Lechner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Clever Stick by John Lechner at

Buy The Clever Stick by John Lechner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Clever Stick by John Lechner at


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