Not A Stick

not a stickHow would your child play with a stick? Pretend to go fishing? Pretend to paint with it? Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis is an excellent book to encourage creativity and imaginative play with your child ages 3.5 and up.

Have you ever bought a new toy for your child and he or she plays with it for about 10 minutes and never touches it again? It’s disappointing and mind boggling but sometimes it’s the most simple objects that can keep a child engaged in symbolic and imaginative play. This book celebrates the use of a simple stick for many different uses such as a sword, a baton, a paintbrush and a fishing pole. The main character keeps insisting that “it is not a stick”. “It is a ______”.

Not A Stick  is a great book to read to your child as well as to a class because it facilitates engagement. As you are reading the story, say “It is not a stick, it is a _______”. Have your child fill in the blank. If your child needs more help, give them choices.

Carryover Activities: Discuss different ideas on how your child might use a stick. Go outside and collect sticks. Have your child make the sticks into different things. Be creative and encourage thinking outside the box 🙂

Check out Antoinette Portis’ other book, Not A Box.

To read more about Antoinette Portis, check out my interview here.


  1. Not A Box says:

    […] To learn more about being creative and encouraging your child’s imagination during play, check out my interview with Antoinette Portis coming up this Thursday. Also, check out Antoinette’s other book, Not A Stick. […]

  2. […] this interview with Antoinette Portis, the best selling author and illustrator of Not A Box and Not A Stick. I am very passionate about children’s literature and really appreciate books that encourage […]

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