Not a Stick

Antoinette Portis, Author . HarperCollins $12.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-112325-2

Where Portis's Not a Box featured a plain brown wrapper, this winning sequel proffers a faux wood-grain cover. And where the earlier title featured a deceptively boxlike, hollow rectangle (which an inventive rabbit treated as a rocket or a race car), this follow-up introduces a little pig holding a long, forked object. An unenlightened voice offstage suggests, “Hey, be careful with that stick.” The pig corrects the false impression (“It's not a stick”) and demonstrates the item's many uses. Portis traces pig and plaything in a heavy black line on negative space, then superimposes jaunty blue line drawings that act as overlays to reveal the pig's imaginings. The pig stands astride the stick, and a rearing horse shape appears. The pig holds the stick at its midpoint and it becomes a paintbrush, aiming toward Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night . Where the offstage warnings appear in white italics on a gray ground, implying a drab rejection of fantasy (“Watch where you point that stick”), the pig's statements are printed against a deep and dreamy blue. Portis repeats her previous formula down to the conclusion, where the pig calls the DIY toy “my Not-a-Stick!,” once again appealing to those who think outside the box. Ages up to 6. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 12/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-986-83577-7-8
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-00-725482-8
Library Binding - 32 pages - 978-0-06-112326-9
Show other formats
Discover what to read next