Not a Stick – REVIEW

5 out of 5 stars.

Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis book cover - Wood-like background with line drawing of a piglet with a stick in his hoof

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graphic pile of sticks


Antoinette Portis again captures the thrill of when pretend feels so real that it becomes real. With a stick in hand, the options are endless—whether it’s conducting an orchestra, painting a masterpiece, or slaying a dragon—give a child a stick and let imagination take over and the magic begin.

graphic pile of sticks


Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis is a wonderful book about imaginative play. It stars a little piglet and his stick. Each scene starts with someone telling the piglet to “be careful” or “watch what you’re doing” with the stick. The piglet then replies that it’s “not a stick”, it’s a sword or conductor’s baton or a fishing pole, etc.

It’s a great book to remind us how a child’s imagination works and how they can take something as ordinary as a stick from the ground and spend hours turning it into other things in their minds.

For me, this book also brought back a lot of wonderful memories. My brother had such a stick (and still has it in his “childhood memories” box). On any given day it was a sword, a conductor’s baton, a horse, a gun/bazooka (if we were playing G.I. Joe), a fishing pole, or anything else his imagination could come up with. Reading this book brought memories of all those fun times flooding back.

I highly recommend this book! If you enjoy this one, be sure to check out the other book by this author with a similar theme – Not a Box.

graphic pile of sticks

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