Papa Gave Me a Stick by Janice Levy


This book reminded me of the hundred times I pleaded with my parents for some toy or game or electronic that I had to have or I was going to sink into a deep depression. And it reminded me of how sometimes the best entertainment I actually had was when my imagination was triggered by some non-manufactured object.

Antonio wants a guitar like one the mariachis play, but his father has no money and hands the boy a stick to play with. That’s right–a stick. Even fifty yeas ago a child (me) would not take a stick for an answer. But the stick is only the first in a series of what on the surface appear to be banal gifts (tortilla, string, blanket) from animals whom Antonia manages to help with these offerings. Spoiler alert: He does eventually earn his guitar, in an unexpected twist.

Early readers will like the talking animals and will enjoy guessing how each subsequent gift will benefit Antonio. Adults will like the light lessons about possessions, responsibility, and empathy. They can also use the book as an early Spanish primer.

Papa Gave Me a Stick (40 pages) was published by Star Bright Books in April.




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