Lucy’s Book Club: Not a Stick by Antionette Portis

By Trevor Osterhaus |
May 14, 2020 |
Children's Mental Health, Lucy's Book Club

Lucy’s Book Club

Not a Stick
by Antoinette Portis

This book captures the essence of children’s imaginative play. The story revolves around an unnamed young pig who is continually being questioned about the stick he is carrying. Throughout the story he emphatically denies that what he is holding is a stick, and the reader can join him on his varied adventures with his “not a stick.”  The text and the illustrations are simple, but the creative message comes through loud and clear.

How doesNot a Stick support the emotional development of young children?
Imagination and imaginative play are essential to healthy social and emotional development. Imaginative play pushes a child outside of his/her self and everyday world to create new adventures accompanied by a wide range of feelings. “Not a Stick” is a book that children can readily relate to and identify with.

ReadingNot a Stick to a group of children: engaging and activating children throughout the story:
Throughout the book the pig repeatedly denies that he has a stick, but the text never  actually names the various things that the  pig imagines the stick to be. Ask the children to describe what they think that the pig is imagining. It will be interesting to see if the children can also come up with ideas in addition to the ones that the author (little pig) has intended.

Activities to  Use With “Not A Stick”

“Not a Paper Towel Roll
Collect empty paper towel rolls and see how many different ways that children can think of to use them. Provide them with markers, glue, paper, and other recyclables to make their paper towel rolls into something special. Do the same with other items (empty boxes, milk cartons, empty water or soda bottles, etc.).

Surprise Pictures
Have children create a design or picture using paint, in the middle of a piece of paper. Fold the paper in half and then slowly open it. Let the children decide what it looks like now!

To Ponder…
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.
~Albert Einstein

Download printable .pdf to share activities in your home, homeschool or school environment.

To purchase this book online for local Raleigh curbside pickup or online shipping, go to:

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