Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stanley's Stick by John Hegley and Neal Layton

John Hegley is one of my all time favourite performance poets who has a beautifully funny and extremely clever way of using words.   In fact, the picture of Roo wearing glasses was inspired by a John Hegley poem called My Doggy Don't Wear Glasses.  It goes like this:

My doggy don't wear glasses
So they're lying when they say a dog looks like its owner
Aren't they

(John Hegley does wear glasses)

Anyway, let's get to the book! Here is the opening line, and what a fabulous line it is.  Say it out loud, it sssounds sssensational and exssstremely sssatisfying.
Stanley stands on Stockport station with his stick

So, Stanley has a stick.  And Stanley's stick can do LOADS of things.  It can be a stickosaurus dinosaur, and a fishing rod and can save slugs from a fate worse than feet.  It can write secret messages in the sand and pretend to be a very straight banana.  But what happens when stanley takes his stick to the seaside?

 Stanley goes down to the side of the tide.  His folks take stock of Stanley standing in the sand, stick in hand.

Stanley does the strangest thing.  He throws his stick into the sea! 

And the next day... well, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens, but I promise you'll like it!

Activities and Discussion
Why does Stanley throw his stick away?  Doesn't he like it any more?
Where does Stanley's stick go  after Stanley throws it in the sea? Who does it meet? Could  you tell a story about the stick's adventures?
Why do children love sticks so much? Take your child on a country walk, or to the park and chances are they will pick up a stick.  If they do, ask them why the like it.  What can they do with it.  What does it feel like?  You could also ask yourself the same question.
Write a sticky poem about your favourite type of stick.  Is it strong? Does it snap? Is it bendy? Can you peel off all the bark to make it smooth? Does it have magic powers? 

Other Fab Books by John Hegley

Other Fab Books by Neal Layton


Follow John Hegley on twitter: @JohnHegley
Follow Neal Layton on twitter: @LaytonNeal

Stanley's Stick is written by John Hegley and published by Hodder