Stick and Stone have one thing in common—they each stand alone. Stone feels like a zero, and Stick like the loneliest number—one. The teeter-totter won’t cooperate when you’re on your own, and playing solo is no fun. But along comes Pinecone, a prickly scamp with a mean attitude who taunts and teases Stone until Stick tells him to “Vanish!” And Pinecone does.
Soon Stick and Stone become fast friends, blowing bubbles and exploring together, even taking in dolphins at the seashore. But then a hurricane blows in and carries Stick out to sea—Pinecone, too. Stone searches and calls but is no match for the strong storm and the enormity of the ocean.
Then, in the middle of a grassy hill, Stone finds Stick upside down in the middle of a huge puddle. With a roll and a thump, Stone catapults into the air. “Cowabunga!” he says, plopping in the puddle and sloshing Stick out of the muck. Stick and Stone are together again, and together they make “a perfect 10.”
The youngest child will empathize with Stick and Stone and cheer their newfound friendship. Tom Lichtenheld’s clever drawings bring expressive emotion to this simple story of two (usually inanimate) creatures, and author Beth Ferry’s gentle rhymes make Stick and Stone easy on the ear. The old adage “sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you” rings untrue in this clever story that touches on bullying and the true meaning of friendship.
Billie B. Little is the Founding Director of Discovery Center at Murfree Spring, a hands-on museum in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.