A lonely tree branch and rock find friendship and strength together.
Stick and Stone feel very alone. Isolated on separate pages, their solitary figures appear downcast, until a chance encounter leads Stick to stand up for Stone against a bullying pine cone. Now inseparable, the two explore and play. But when a storm carries Stick away, Stone must search for him and bring him back. Simple, rhyming text and visual puns keep this familiar-feeling tale light and snappy. Lichtenheld’s illustrations, done in dry media on paper, possess their usual appeal. The paper’s rough surface gives the natural objects a warm, organic feel that contrasts nicely with the bold, graphic drawing style. As always, details charm, from the trail of flattened grass Stone leaves behind him as the two explore to the miner’s headlamp he wears during his search for Stick. With few words per page and visually expressive characters, there is much to keep young readers’ interest.
A light, enjoyable approach to a recognizable narrative about making—and helping—friends. (Picture book. 3-7)