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Not A Stick


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About the Author

Antoinette Portis attended the UCLA School of Fine Arts and is a former creative director at Disney Consumer Products. She lives in Studio City, California, USA.


Praise for Not a Box:

"Dedicated 'to children everywhere sitting cardboard boxes', this wonderful little book perfectly captures the amazing capacity of a child's imagination to create endless possibilities out of a humble box. Brilliantly illustrated with a cute bunny (bearing a passing homage to the graphic minimalism of Duck Bruna's Miffy), the box becomes all manner of wonderful things, from a rocketship to a hot-air balloon - anything but a plain old cardboard box. A super book that's as close to perfection as a picture book can get!" Junior

"Simple and appealing... Nicely packaged in a cardboard cover, it looks like a kids' classic in the making." Time Out

"A stylish paean to the imagination for two- to four-year-olds." Financial Times Magazine

"This fashionably simple book has Rabbit encouraging young children to explore imaginary worlds whilst sitting in a cardboard box - on land or water or up into space. Great fun." Carousel

"The adorable story of Rabbit and imaginative world within a simple cardboard box." Practical Parenting

PreS-Gr 1-Portis follows up on her successful Not a Box (HarperCollins, 2007) with equally pleasing results. Young listeners will be treated to the imaginative world of a charmingly minimalist pig who appears to be holding an ordinary stick. Following each admonition, "Hey, be careful with that stick," the youngster insists on the following spread that "it's not a stick." Its true nature is then dramatically revealed through clever illustrations. Morphing from a fishing pole to a drum major's baton, a paintbrush, a barbell, a horse, a spear, and finally to a sword, this "Not-a-stick" is clearly a powerful key to other worlds. Portis's simple color palette and playful drawings with never a line out of place represent the best in children's illustration. Perfect for sharing aloud, Not a Stick will inspire youngsters to look for the magic in ordinary objects.-Jayne Damron, Farmington Community Library, MI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Where Portis's Not a Box featured a plain brown wrapper, this winning sequel proffers a faux wood-grain cover. And where the earlier title featured a deceptively boxlike, hollow rectangle (which an inventive rabbit treated as a rocket or a race car), this follow-up introduces a little pig holding a long, forked object. An unenlightened voice offstage suggests, "Hey, be careful with that stick." The pig corrects the false impression ("It's not a stick") and demonstrates the item's many uses. Portis traces pig and plaything in a heavy black line on negative space, then superimposes jaunty blue line drawings that act as overlays to reveal the pig's imaginings. The pig stands astride the stick, and a rearing horse shape appears. The pig holds the stick at its midpoint and it becomes a paintbrush, aiming toward Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. Where the offstage warnings appear in white italics on a gray ground, implying a drab rejection of fantasy ("Watch where you point that stick"), the pig's statements are printed against a deep and dreamy blue. Portis repeats her previous formula down to the conclusion, where the pig calls the DIY toy "my Not-a-Stick!," once again appealing to those who think outside the box. Ages up to 6. (Jan.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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