BOOK REVIEWS

A Stick Is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-06 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 6 user ratings
ISBN:0547124937
LANGUAGE:English

" A case where the sum is greater than its parts, A Stick Is An Excellent Thing is a celebration of the joys of outdoor play. Many of the poems are not as effective when read by themselves, yet when experienced as a whole, along with LeUyen Pham's bright vibrant illustrations, is when this book comes alive. " said.

" This was a great poetry book for young children. The poems are short and a lot were written in free form to help interest the reader. Every activity would be familiar to all children and the pictures added excitement to each poem. Marilyn Singer has many other books that I just realized I've read. I would definitely recommend this as a great poetry book for children and their parents. " said.

" This is a great poetry book! The poems are all about summer and playing outside. In addition every poem is different in style, content, and structure. This would be a great book for teaching different forms of poetry. In addition the illustrations are very good and some play off of how the poem is written. " said.

" These short poems are pretty special. I instantly thought of my summers as a kid doing all of those fun things outside, and wishing I could still just do that all day in the summer now (ha!). It's a really joyful paean to play. I also loved the illustrations and that it features a multicultural array of kids. " said.

" Fantastic book of poetry. All of the poems focus on different outdoor play - bubbles, jumping rope, hopscotch, swinging, monkey in the middle...Kids will have a lot of schema for the different activities mentioned! There are a variety of "types" of poems presented, as well. Wonderful book to be included in a poetry unit. The illustrations are wonderful as well.Check out this book, especially to introduce kids to a different genre! " said.

" I enjoyed the illustrations in this book quite a bit. All of these poems are about outdoor games...some of which I've played and some I haven't. I appreciate that there is an emphasis on using imagination...such as in "A Stick is an Excellent Thing" where the stick is used as a scepter for a king, a magic wand, to draw with and to strum a fence. Also, with it being summertime....this may give my children/other children some ideas of what to do outside during the summer. " said.

"I read this poetry anthology as a memoir, filled with joyful poems about activities mostly outdoors that don’t often happen anymore, like playing jacks or hopscotch, at least not in my recent experience. I wish kids did play outside as much as the poems and illustrations show. Yet, there are joyful games that I hope some kids are playing, like double-dutch/jump rope, monkey in the middle/a basketball game, and playing hide-n-seek. The drawings are joyful depictions of each activity, placing the games in the neighborhoods as background. A favorite is about swinging, showing choices of “on your belly? On your seat?/Do you ask for a push?/Do you use your own feet?” And the book ends with a sweet poem about stargazing at day’s end. It would be great to read this aloud, and let the students write about a memory and draw a picture of that same memory. " said.

"The illustrator of A Stick Is an Excellent Thing, LeUyen Pham, also illustrated Desmond Tutu's excellent picture book God's Dream. She's a rock star! In the end, it was the illustrations I enjoyed most about this book. Sigourney's favorite illustration? A close-up of a girl hanging upside-down on the jungle gym. Her head's drawn right-side up with the rest of the world upside-down, a semi-point-of-view shot of the world from her perspective. The drawing of kids on a swing set ran a close second.

The text consists of poems about outside play. The games include things like barrel rolling down a hill, statues, hop scotch, monkey in the middle, and double dutch - all games Sigourney thus far has spent little to no time playing. A Stick Is an Excellent Thing would be fun to check out with children old enough to learn to play these games after reading about them.
" said.

June 2018 New Book:

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