Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis.

Abstract: An imaginative young pig shows some of the many things that a stick can be.

Harper Collins Publishers, 2008.

8 comments:

Melanie said...

Not a Stick is fabulous! Not only did I have flashbacks to childhood, but I could picture a child telling an adult that the stick is "not a stick". Fantastic! A wonderful follow-up to Not a Box.

Mary Voors said...

I struggle with what type of book the Geisel Award is really for. For example, I really like Not a Stick, and I think it really speaks to the Geisel purpose of demonstrating "creativity and imagination to engage children in reading." I enjoy the pacing, the tempo, and the humor. However, this strikes me more as a picture book read-aloud or a book to be read by an adult & child together than as a book for a beginning reader to enjoy independently. Or am I missing what the Geisel is really all about?

Teresa said...

Sure, put it on the list. I love that there is a Geisel Award to showcase beginning readers, but I think what makes a beginning reader strong are elements that are familiar to the child and, in many ways, not that exciting to adult readers. I think that's why more picture books than beginning readers are being recognized by the actual committee. At least that's how it seems to me.

Anonymous said...

I am confused too, Mary!

Not a Stick does not have the repetition that is required by the Geisel Award criteria. It doesn't look or feel or read like an early reader. It is a great book, but I just don't see how it would qualify for this award.

diannaburt said...

I love Not a Stick! I think I like it even better than Not a Box from last year.
As far as being a possible Geisel, well the shape throws me off. That seems very simple, but an early reader has a certain shape, and the Gerald and pig book from last year threw me off. It was completely appropriate for the Geisel (of course) but the size threw me off. Those publishers are tricky! I have a hard time getting my head wrapped around the size and shape, it's a picture book shape. Also, I agree about the repetition. So there's my take on it.

Kris said...

I think Not a Stick does fall into the beginning reader criteria...It is definitely repetitive (how many times do you see "It's not a stick" or "that stick"?). And the repetition isn't boring, it's fun and realistic...can't you just hear a child repeating this to an adult, getting louder each time to get his/her point across? There's plenty of white space, so it's not overwhelming to a beginning reader. And it's fun and interesting. I don't think the shape and size are drawbacks -- how many kids probably moan when they see the "typical" beginning-reader-shape book? (Not to be overly critical of beginning readers, but there are some less-than-stellar ones out there).

Mandy said...

I completely agree, Kris...couldn't have said it any better. I know the size and shape of books like this don't fit into our traditional definition of an early reader, but the award criteria says nothing about physical format.

Instead, it mentions that the subject matter be intriguing enough to motivate the child to read, the illustrations function as keys or clues to the text, and the plot creates a "page-turning" dynamic (weren't you curious to find out what the not-a-stick would be next?) "Not a Stick" fits this description well - particularly for very beginning readers.

Megan S. TUFW said...

I loved this book! And I do believe that it is appropriate for beginning readers. It does have repitition in an open format that helps the children imagine right along with the book.