Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Clever Stick

In the The Clever Stick by John Lechner, a little stick is able to think up clever things, make up poetry, and listen to the sounds of beautiful music. He has one problem, though—he can’t speak. He has so many thoughts and ideas that he wants to share with the other forest creatures, but he can’t tell them any! One day, as the stick walks up to animals, insects, and flowers in a meadow, he tries to say hello by bowing to them. Instead, he trips and falls on his face. Nobody even notices him. “The clever stick did not feel so clever anymore."

After dragging himself home, the stick notices that he left a trail in the sand. He realizes that he is able to draw lines that look like things, and so he gets busy drawing an elaborate scene in the sand. The stick is so focused on his work that he doesn’t even notice a crowd gather to watch him work. When he finishes his masterpiece, everyone cheers for the most beautiful picture they’ve ever seen. The stick is so happy to finally be able to communicate. Even the rain that comes shortly after can’t get him down. “He knew he could make another. He knew at last he had found his voice.”

Not only would this story be a great one to start a discussion about your child’s gifts and talents, but this is also a book that helps us to see the struggles of someone who has difficulty communicating, even though he may be brilliant. Hopefully this book will elicit compassion and respect for the “clever sticks” we may meet in life.

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