A Stick Is an Excellent Thing

A Stick Is an Excellent Thing

Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play

By Marilyn Singer; LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)

Clarion Books, Hardcover, 9780547124933, 40pp.

Publication Date: February 2012

A paean to play from an award-winning poet and a "New York Times "best-selling illustrator. The trappings of childhood change from generation to generation, but there are some timeless activities that every kid loves. Marilyn Singer and LeUyen Pham celebrate these universal types of play, from organized games such as hide-and-seek and hopscotch to imaginative play such as making mud soup or turning a stick into a magic wand. Lyrical poems and bold illustrations capture the energy of a group of children in one neighborhood as they amuse themselves over the course of a summer day. At a time when childhood obesity rates are soaring and money is tight for many families, here is a book that invites readers to join in the fun of active play with games that cost nothing.

About the Author
Marilyn Singer is the author of more than one hundred books for children, including the Tallulah books. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington, Connecticut. For more information, please visit: www.marilynsinger.net.

LEUYEN PHAM worked in animation before turning to children s books. She wrote and illustrated "Big Sister, Little Sister" and is the illustrator of numerous other picture books. Ms. Pham lives in San Francisco, California, with her husband.

Praise For A Stick Is an Excellent Thing

"A real strength of the collection is its engagement of the imagination. . . . A thrilling integration of verse and image, motivating all to serious fun." --Kirkus , starred review


"From running through sprinklers to blowing bubbles to catching fireflies, this book has 18 short poems about active, imaginative play in summer weather. . . . An appealing book." --School Library Journal


"Fun for sharing and acting out many times over." --Booklist


"This could be effective in an April unit celebrating both spring and National Poetry Month, and it could also give kids some much needed memories of warmth and sunshine during the winter--or even provide them with the impetus to get off the couch and get outside." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Singer captures the inherent exultations of being young and carefree in the outdoors. . . .Well worth the exercise." --Kirkus Online

"Pham's grainy mixed-media scenes could take place anytime in the past 50 years, emphasizing the timeless (some might say lost) art of outdoor activity."--Publishers Weekly