Venturing Home: A Review of ‘Stickman’


“There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk round the whole world until we come back to the same place. ” – G. K. Chesterton

Reading Level

Pre-K – Grade 5 [Scholastic]

AR 2.8 [0.5 points]                

Review and Comments

Poor Stick Man is just trying to get home to his family after a morning jog but one difficult situation after another block any progress. He is mistakenly used as a stick in a game of fetch, material for a swan’s nest, a flag pole on a sand castle, a sword, a hook, a pen, a bat, a boomerang, and an arm for a snowman! Each time he is used for a different purpose, he announces:

“I’m not a stick! Why can’t you see,

I’m Stick Man, I’m Stick Man,

I’M STICK MAN, that’s me,

And I want to go home to the family tree!”

 His family patiently watches for his return, but after some time they are discouraged and wonder if he will ever come home.

The final problem for Stick Man is the most serious. He is added to a pile of kindling for an inevitable Christmas fire.  Just when the situation seems dire, he is discovered by Santa. Well, actually Stick Man rescues Santa who is stuck in the chimney.  He not only rescues Santa, he helps Santa deliver Christmas presents.  His good deeds are rewarded when Santa brings him home after his busiest night, and Stick Man is finally reunited with his family.

This book is an excellent read aloud story for young children, especially during the Christmas season.  It is repetitive and the illustrations are engaging. 

Possible Concerns

There are no concerns with this book.

Further Discussion

    • “The Stick Man Activity Book” [Paperback – 2001] by Julia Donaldson is available through Amazon.

    • The Stick Man video is very cute and expands the story just a bit.

Art/Writing:

  1. Make a Stick Man from a branch, salt dough, construction paper, or other materials. In the first person, tell about a different adventure Stick Man might have had.
  2. Design a Christmas card from the Stick Family.
  3. Write a thank you note from the Stick Family expressing their gratitude to Santa for bringing Stick Man home.
  4. Make a journal of Stick Man’s adventures. Write about what happened and how he felt in each situation.

Rhyming:

  1. This story rhymes. Make a list of as many rhyming words as you can find.
  2. Add more rhyming words to each group. [Example: hand/sand: and, band, bland, brand, canned, gland, grand, land, etc.]

 

Catholic Resources

Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may receive your help, but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver. – St. John Chrysostom

 

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