Sunday, November 30, 2014

Stanley's Stick!

Life is full of surprises!!! Just as you believe your life to be moving in a known direction, an unexpected turn of events can leave you bewildered and unsettled until you come to terms with the change!  Owing to a sudden hectic turn of events on the personal front, I have been missing on the blogosphere and its now been more than a month since my last post on Onestoryaday !  But as the saying goes ….the only thing constant in life is change and you learn to adapt and move on….. so here I am...just in time for its anniversary month! Anyway, now that I got down to revisit my long lost sharing space afforded by blogger, let me straightaway get down to the business of books…..children’s books that I’ve been reading…not just for Abhay!:-)

Not very often you come across a book that speaks to not just the kids but also the parents reading to them. One such book that I happen to stumble upon at the British Library  is “Stanley’s Stick” by John Hegley and illustrated by Neal Layton. Described as capturing “the freewheeling expressiveness of childhood” and touted as “everything a picture book should be”, this is a story of a boy named Stanley who has a fetish for a stick that he always carries with him.  Stanley’s stick was once a part of a majestic tree that Stanley wistfully remembers finding it lying on the ground. Nevertheless Stanley is happy to have a part of something tall and grand and indulges in pretend play of all kinds with his stick! He pretends to use the stick as a whistle, or as match stick all set to light the torch of world games, or his stick becomes “stickosauraus”, a dinosaur not yet extinct!:-) Stanley also managed to rope his friend into joining and they both are seen pretend-fishing with a string attached to his stick…..with the best part being that no fish getting hurt with his stick-fishing! But Stanley had never been able to find an appropriate name for his favourite inanimate companion! For instance, Stirry sounded nice but much more appropriate for a spoon rather than a stick! Once Stanley goes on a beach vacation with his parents and there’s no better company than his stick to scrawl on sand in a languages understood by only Stanley and his stick. As he nears the shore, Stanley is seen in a pensive mood, looking out in the direction of the sea …. As his parents take stock of the situation of what is Stanley about to do, Stanley hurls his stick into the sea, surprised to what a tiny splosh it makes for something that was so big in his life, while his parents wonder if he is upset now that  Stanley is now stickless!!! The next morning, as the tide is out, Stanley decides to look for other sticks or twigs when he chances upon  a twisty stick that is different from the one he had before! Suddenly, Stanley’s bewitched ….and he soon discovers numerous ways of playing with his new twisty stick! Besides….it was easier than before to arrive at a name for his new found favourite – fantastick!!! Well….the book ends with a reflective tone…..Stanley’s fantastic, to which we add…so is his story…..isnt it??
This book not only makes a delightful  read but also works on so many different levels, that leaves a feel-good effect each time one reads it! Beautifully worded, charmingly illustrated, “Stanley’s stick” is not only a tribute to children's imagination but also offers a philosophical perspective to life and conveys a subtle message that lends itself into different meanings at different phases of one’s growing up! So it goes without saying….Stanley’s Stick is definitely for keeps… you may want to revisit this book later…to see if you have moved on with the change just as Stanley has!!

No comments:

Post a Comment