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I had a clear out of the boot of my car this week and as I removed the many, many twigs and branches in there I was reminded of this book.


If you don’t associate with small people you may not realise how important sticks are. Well they are VERY important. Here are some stick facts you need to know:

  1. Sticks can represent a seemingly infinite number of things in imaginative play.
  2. Sometimes, they don’t represent anything. They are just really interesting.
  3. If you find a stick, you absolutely must take it home.
  4. If you break your stick it is akin to having your balloon pop in terms of trauma.
  5. One stick is definitely not like another. If your mum loses your precious and important stick and tries to replace it, you will immediately notice it isn’t yours.
  6. You can never have enough sticks.

Stanley has a special stick. A very straight stick. He takes it everywhere and has a lot of stick activity. Sometimes he pretends that the stick is a straight banana while other times it is a Stickosaurus. He can never think of the right name for his stick though.

One day Stanley and his parents go to the seaside and quite unexpectedly, Stanley hurls the stick into the sea, so that someone else can enjoy many stick adventures.

Stanley is stickles. Until the next morning when he discovers a really interesting and rather wiggly stick. And with this stick, he instantly knows its name: Fantastick. And the final and perfect line is:

Stanley’s fantastick.

I love Stanley and how much his stick means to him. It encapsulates perfectly how versatile sticks are to a child – but also how much fun they are. It is a funny story that makes me laugh out loud at the similar stick adventures I’ve witnessed with my own children.

I like how Stanley gives up his special stick but then gets a new one. I used this book to get the children to cut back on their Crucially Important Stick Collection and they have now whittled (get it?) it down to just a few. But there’s no way I could ever ask them to give them up completely. Sticks are necessary in their lives, just as Stanley must have one.

A thoroughly fantastick read.