Stick

Steve Breen, Author
Steve Breen, Author . Dial $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3124-0
Reviewed on: 03/12/2007
Release date: 03/01/2007
Prebound-Sewn - 48 pages - 978-1-60686-885-0
Paperback - 48 pages - 978-0-14-241303-6
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Editorial cartoonist Breen makes his children's book debut with this lighthearted tale about a determined young frog who must experience everything for himself. The opening series of panels depicts a parent offering suggestions that clearly fall on deaf ears: "Stick liked to do things on his own... all by himself," reads the text as the young hero lands on a turtle's back ("Oops"). When Stick suddenly finds that his tongue has become stuck to a dragonfly, which carries him aloft, he fails to realize the precariousness of his situation. Breen's panel illustrations transport readers along with the green fellow, through the swamp, to a bustling New Orleans and beyond. It's Breen's detailed artwork that supplies the heft to this tale with few words. Observant readers will pick up Breen's ode to the Deep South, peppered with a witty tone, as in the "Ragin' Cajun" tattoo on a motorcyclist or the "wiggly piggly" roadside billboard. He also captures the beauty of the scenery, especially in the spreads of wetlands with live oaks, which serve as Stick's habitat. At story's end, youngsters will be pleased that the precocious fledgling adventurer has made it back home, while parents may appreciate the message that young ones sometimes need to leave the pond in order to gain a sense of the big picture. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)

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