Stick Man

Poor Stick Man! Out for a jog one spring day, he's nabbed by a dog that believes he's a stick to fetch. Then a swan decides he's a twig for her nest. Come winter, a boy thinks he's an arm for his snowman. Over the course of four seasons, in one case of mistaken identity after another, Stick Man is taken farther and farther from his "Stick Lady Love and their stick children three." Eventually, on Christmas Eve, chilled and weary, he winds up on someone's fireplace grate. Is there anyone who can save him now? "Oh-ho-ho," there sure is!

Author-illustrator pair Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Room on the Broom; The Gruffalo) update their quirky rhyming classic with a brand-new Christmas-y cover. Donaldson's catchy verses will still have young readers chiming in for the chorus:

"I'm not a stick! Why can't you see,
I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man,
I'M STICK MAN, that's me,
And I want to go home to the family tree!"

Every page is packed with details demanding the attention of readers who are willing to slow down for the rewards. Scheffler's bright, cartoony illustrations are full of lively touches: The stick children's toys are made out of acorns and chestnuts. Stick Man's eyes are squeezed shut as a girl stretches him as a bow for her arrow. Look closely... there's even a Gruffalo ornament on a tree!

Stick Man is a holiday odyssey that, even with its unusual protagonist, will ring true as sleigh bells for any reader who loves stories about overcoming obstacles to succeed. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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