Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Stick Man

Rate this book
Stick Man lives in the family tree
With his Stick Lady Love
and their stick children three ...

"a cracker of a book"
- Financial Times

"You'll read this book again and again"
- Daily Mail

32 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Julia Donaldson

760 books1,478 followers
Growing up
I grew up in a tall Victorian London house with my parents, grandmother, aunt, uncle, younger sister Mary and cat Geoffrey (who was really a prince in disguise. Mary and I would argue about which of us would marry him).

Mary and I were always creating imaginary characters and mimicking real ones, and I used to write shows and choreograph ballets for us. A wind-up gramophone wafted out Chopin waltzes.

I studied Drama and French at Bristol University, where I met Malcolm, a guitar-playing medic to whom I’m now married.

Busking and books
Before Malcolm and I had our three sons we used to go busking together and I would write special songs for each country; the best one was in Italian about pasta.

The busking led to a career in singing and songwriting, mainly for children’s television. I became an expert at writing to order on such subjects as guinea pigs, window-cleaning and horrible smells. “We want a song about throwing crumpled-up wrapping paper into the bin” was a typical request from the BBC.

I also continued to write “grown-up” songs and perform them in folk clubs and on the radio, and have recently released two CDs of these songs.

One of my television songs, A SQUASH AND A SQUEEZE, was made into a book in 1993, with illustrations by the wonderful Axel Scheffler. It was great to hold the book in my hand without it vanishing in the air the way the songs did. This prompted me to unearth some plays I’d written for a school reading group, and since then I’ve had 20 plays published. Most children love acting and it’s a tremendous way to improve their reading.

My real breakthrough was THE GRUFFALO, again illustrated by Axel. We work separately - he’s in London and I’m in Glasgow - but he sends me letters with lovely funny pictures on the envelopes.

I really enjoy writing verse, even though it can be fiendishly difficult. I used to memorise poems as a child and it means a lot to me when parents tell me their child can recite one of my books.

Funnily enough, I find it harder to write not in verse, though I feel I am now getting the hang of it! My novel THE GIANTS AND THE JONESES is going to be made into a film by the same team who made the Harry Potter movies, and I have written three books of stories about the anarchic PRINCESS MIRROR-BELLE who appears from the mirror and disrupts the life of an otherwise ordinary eight-year-old. I have just finished writing a novel for teenagers.

When I’m not writing I am often performing, at book festivals and in theatres. I really enjoy getting the children in the audience to help me act out the stories and sing the songs. When Malcolm can take time off from the hospital he and his guitar come too. and it feels as if we’ve come full circle - back to busking.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,304 (52%)
4 stars
1,804 (28%)
3 stars
923 (14%)
2 stars
221 (3%)
1 star
58 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 473 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,012 reviews97 followers
December 9, 2017
Stick Man lives with his lady love and three stick children in the family tree. One day he's out for a jog and gets snatched by a dog, taken by a girl, found by a swan, and the adventures continue. What Stick Man really wants is to make it back home, but will he?

This is such an adventurous story and perfect for this time of year. We loved Stick Man and his story from beginning to end. The illustrations really evoke the spirit of the holidays. ❤🎄
Profile Image for Toni.
515 reviews
December 3, 2019
Another masterpiece fromJulia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Stick Man lives in the family tree with his wife and three children. One day he gets carried away by a dog and his adventures begin. You see everybody thinks he's just a stick and sticks are there for fetching, dropping in water, weaving into a nest, being a sandcastle mast or a sword, a pen or a bat...until he almost gets burnt in a fireplace on the Christmas night. Luckily, his old friend Santa saves him and delivers him to his loyal family.
A lovely lovely story with cute pictures will make you fall in love with StickMan who lives in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three...
Profile Image for Harun Ahmed.
695 reviews98 followers
July 19, 2022
কিছু কিছু বই এতো অদ্ভুত সুন্দর হয়! ছোটদের জন্য লেখা (ও আঁকা) ছোট্ট একটা বই, অথচ পড়তে যেয়ে মন ভারাক্রান্ত হয়ে গিয়েছিলো স্টিকম্যানের দুর্দশা দেখে।
বইয়ের খোঁজ পেয়েছি সোমদাদার কাছ থেকে।তার মতোই বলি, ভাগ্যিস ছোটদের বেশিরভাগ বইতে সুখের পরিসমাপ্তি থাকে! না হয় দু'দিন মুখ ভার করে বসে থাকতে হতো। জীবনের কোনো এক পর্যায়ে, যখন মনে হয়েছে কেউ আমাকে বুঝছে না, কেউ আমার কথার অর্থ ধরতে পারছে না, তখন স্টিকম্যানের মতো হয়তো আমরাও চিৎকার করেছি প্রাণপণ ,

"I'm not a stick! Why can't you see,
I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man,
I'M STICK MAN, that's me,
And I want to go home to the family tree!"
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,009 reviews104 followers
September 7, 2019
While I have found the combination of Julia Donaldson's verses and Axel Scheffler's accompanying pictures (like usual) lyrically engaging and illustratively expressive (and also much appreciate that in Stick Man, the lost Stick Father, even after having experienced all kinds of physical trauma from both animals and humans, still immediately rescues Santa Claus from his predicament of being stuck in a chimney and by doing so then gets an appreciative sleigh ride home to his worried family and thus a merry Christmas for all), personally, there are some parts of the illustrations (of the specific details in a number of Axel Scheffler's depicted and drawn scenes) that as an older and educated adult I do find hugely problematic and even downright strange. For one, I do NOT AT ALL appreciate that in the illustration where Stick Man points out that he is not a bow, the individual using Stick Man as a bow is someone "playing Indian" and wearing a feather headdress (as that is considered majorly offensive to and for many Native Americans and Canadians, and even though in Europe, they are sadly still a bit behind the times with regard to this, it really does bother me that even in the 21st century, Axel Scheffler would depict people playing at being "Native"). And furthermore, for two (and yes, this is probably a bit nit-picky on my part, but I cannot help my feelings concerning this), I also have found it rather weird and creepy that in Stick Man, the Stick Family is illustrated as living in a tree house where the bed is made of chopped lumber and where the walls are decorated with gathered greenery (as to and for me, that sure looks like a family of wooden people actually destroying their own for house and home).

Therefore, while with Stick Man, I have definitely enjoyed Julia Donaldson's verses (and the uplifting messages behind them), there are simply too many (in my opinion) potentially problematic and questionable aspects contained in certain parts of Axel Scheffler's accompanying artwork for me to consider more than two stars (as indeed, that "playing Indian" image and that the Stick Family basically uses a wooden bed made of chopped lumber, this has certainly rather rubbed me the wrong way).
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,427 followers
December 21, 2018
Stick Man and his family live in their family tree. Stick Man separates from his family after a dog grabs him and the poor soul tries his best to go back to them.

I'm not a stick! Why can't they see?
I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, I'M STICK MAN, that's me,
And I long to be back in the family tree

Another favourite book. Rhyming text and detailed illustrations are just perfect and light-hearted.

There is also an unexpected appearance of Santa.

Then Stick Man helps Santa deliver the toys
To fast-asleep girls
And fast-asleep boys

Adding to this values like
the family bond,
the love and commitment and
the right type of wishes one should have
you could say that this book can be read happily by all young readers during Christmas time.
Profile Image for Ken.
2,112 reviews1,316 followers
December 13, 2020
We're big Donaldson/Scheffler fans in this house and had been saving this one for Christmas.

Poor Stick Man had the indignity of being used as part of a game of fetch between owner and dog!
Through various misadventures he is determined to be reunited with his family, it's rather fitting that having been stranded since the summer he finally makes it back at Christmas.

These books are always a delight with fun rhyming prose and distinctive illustrations.
Profile Image for Shom Biswas.
302 reviews36 followers
July 18, 2022
এবছর 'স্টিক ম্যান ' এর থেকে ভালো বই হয়তো আমি পড়ি নি ! আহা কী লেখা, আহা আহা কী দারুন ছবি।

কাঠের মানুষ তার কাঠের লেডি লাভ , আর তার তিন কাঠের বাচ্চাকে নিয়ে তাদের পৈতৃক গাছে থাকে - সুখের সংসার। তবে সুখ কী আর সবসময় থাকে? ভীষণ সাংঘাতিক সব কাণ্ডকারখানার মাঝে কাঠের মানুষ তার পরিবারের থেকে অনেক দূরে গিয়ে পড়ে। কী দুঃখ, কী দুঃখ। মনের দুঃখে কাঠের মানুষ বলে ওঠে -
I'm Stick Man, I'm Stick Man, I'M STICK MAN, that's me,
And I long to be back in my family tree...

তারপর? তারপর কাঠের মানুষ কী করে তার বৌ-বাচ্চার কাছে ফিরে আসে - সেই নিয়েই গল্প।

দিয়েগো কে পড়াতে পড়াতে আমি নিজেই কেঁদে কেটে একসা। পুত্র অবিশ্যি স্টিক ম্যান , দ্য ইনক্রেডিবলস, লায়ন কিং, নন্টে ফন্টে সবকিছুই গোগ্রাসে গেলে। মুফাসা মরে গেলেও তার দুঃখ, স্টিক ম্যান হারিয়ে গেলেও দুঃখ, আর মিস্টার ইনক্রেডিবল সিনড্রোম'এর হাতে বন্দী হলেও দুঃখ। রক্ষে এই, যে বাচ্চাদের জন্যে লেখা সব গল্���েই বোধহয় হ্যাপি এন্ডিং থাকে।
Profile Image for Christine.
241 reviews17 followers
June 17, 2017
This a delightful children's fiction story, with a winter-holiday setting. Stick Man and his stick family are imaginative stick people who live in their family tree. We follow Stick Man through some unexpected adventures that begin one day, as he goes out for a jog and is abducted by a dog. A series of misadventures ensues as Stick Man tries to make his way home, encountering ever more outlandish situations that thwart him.

The illustrations are perfect: quirky, colorful, bright, and full of detail. The setting is realistic, featuring humans, animals, and places that are familiar to children... but Stick Man and his family give the tale a magical, exciting twist. What if the very stick you were playing with, was really a living creature ?! Imaginative kiddos will relate to the perils and tribulations of a Stick Man, such as being used in a nest, or on top of a sand castle.

The rhyming text is humorous, and perfect for read-alouds with preschoolers. Beginning readers may need some help with higher level vocabulary ("deserted," "frolicking," etc), but should also enjoy this funny and adventurous tale. With a happy ending, Stick Man is satisfying and original.
Profile Image for Akash.
200 reviews25 followers
December 3, 2022
ভয়ঙ্কর সুন্দর বোবা বই এবং অদ্ভুত সুন্দর এর ছবিগুলো। নিজেকে আমার স্টিকম্যান মনে হয়। আসলে আমি স্টিকম্যানই। সবাই স্টিক মনে করে কিন্তু ম্যান মনে করে না কেউ। এমন সুন্দর বই জীবনে প্রথম পড়লাম। বইটার কথা আজীবন স্মরণ থাকবে।

Stick Man, oh Stick Man, beware of the snow!
Here comes a boy in a warm woolly scarf.
"An arm for my snowman!" he says with a laugh.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,140 reviews
October 3, 2019
Stick Man I'm not really sure what to do with this one. Hm... On one hand, I guess it's clever and supposed to be funny (I guess? If a poor Stick Man being separated from his family for months and put into all sorts of challenging situations that a normal stick would be put into like being thrown for a dog to catch, stuck into a snowman for an arm or almost burned up in a fireplace is "funny"). On the other hand, it's billed as a Christmas book and the Santa part really just drops out of nowhere and the first half of the story has nothing to do with Christmas. Also, I'm really not sure about the moral of the story. One should NOT leave the safety of ones home? Um, maybe not the best message for little ones who often do have anxiety about leaving home? :-/ Maybe I'm being too much of a grown-up reading into things here. Most kids might just take it all as a good joke (I didn't read it to mine). That said, my GoodReads friend Manybooks also makes some excellent points in her review regarding other problematic content here and I suggest reading her review before you share this with your littles.
Profile Image for চি ন্ম য়.
105 reviews24 followers
July 20, 2022
বাচ্���াদের বই পড়তে ভালোবাসি। যেখানে পাই, কুড়িয়ে পড়ি। বই গুলো আমাকে সুখ দেয়। "Stick man" ও একটা বাচ্চাদের বই। দারুণ একটা বই। আরো বেশ কয়েক বার পড়ব বইটা,এসব বই বারবার পড়ে আরাম।

এই বইটা আমি পড়তে পারছি হারুন ভাইয়ের বদৌলতে। ভাইয়াকে ভালোবাসা।
Profile Image for Gerry.
Author 43 books92 followers
September 22, 2022
This may well be my favourite Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book and it is no surprise to read that the Daily Mail critic commented, 'You'll read this book again and again.' I should say that I did read it twice at the first sitting!

Stick man is a cute little twig and he lives at home in the family tree with his Stick Lady Love and three stick children.

One day he decides to go out for a jog but it turns into something of a nightmare. He is chased by a dog who wants to use him to play 'fetch it', then he is used as a pooh stick by some children and a swan uses him for part of his nest. And all the time he is longing to be back in the family tree.

When he frees himself from the nest he is carried out to sea and ends up on a beach where children use him for a flagpole on their sandcastle before he encounters other children who use him for a variety of things that do not please him. And all the time he is longing to be back in the family tree.

Finally it is winter and snow is on the ground as children, all wrapped up, sing carols. Here he is used as an arm for a snowman before he is gathered in by the children and taken into their house where a fire is set. He is worryingly placed in the grate but, thankfully, before the fire can be lit someone comes down the chimney and gets stuck. All the time Stick Man is dreaming of his Stick Lady Love and his children.

But he is still able to assist the person stuck in the chimney and he frees him to discover it is the man in red, who is most grateful to him for getting him out, albeit he is all covered in soot. To show his gratitude the gentleman takes him on his sleigh to deliver presents and the last place they call is ... yes, you've got it, Stick Man's family tree.

He is home, he is happy and so is the reader who has had a most enjoyable read.

22 September 2022

No wonder some of the publicity for this book stated 'You'll read this book again and again' because I have purchased a copy for a little friend of mine and I just couldn't resist reading it once more - that's three times seeing as I said in my earlier review that I read it twice first time round!

The dog who sees Stick Man and thinks it is merely 'an excellent stick' is mistaken for he is told, 'I'm not a stick! Why can't you see, I'm Stick Many, I'm Stick Man, I'M STICK MAN, that's me, And I want to go home to the family tree!'

Eventually the stick gets returned home and the dog owner is told to keep his pet on a lead. But Stick Man suddenly finds himself involved in a game of Pooh sticks, used as part of a swan's nest and then atop a sandcastle as a mast, complete with flag attached!

He then finds himself occupying all sorts of other roles which leave him asking 'Will I ever get back to the family tree?' The answer appears to be 'No' when he is collected to form part of a fire and is laid on top of other sticks ready to be set alight. Fortunately it is the festive season and before the fire can be lit, someone falls down the chimney and dislodges him from his spot on the other twigs.

He helps the intruder to deliver presents and one goes to Stick Lady's house where he finds himself reunited with the family tree!

What a lovely story with a happy ending ... and the usual great illustrations from the one and only Axel Scheffler!
Profile Image for Paul.
563 reviews151 followers
January 16, 2016
We bought this yesterday and had it as a bedtime read straight away. Actually quite the story sitting behind the rhyme.
The dangers for a stick man getting caught up in a game of pooh sticks must be terrible.
Profile Image for Subrata Das.
69 reviews4 followers
December 7, 2022
We all are stick men roaming around the world. We all have a passion or dream to which we want to be stuck to, just like the stick man had a family tree. But life makes us take different types of identity and we go far from our dreams and passions aka family tree.

The stick man inside us screams "Hey I'm Stick man, I'm stick man, I AM STICK MAN, that's me. " But not even we let alone others hear the voice of our heart.

Some lucky stickmen can return to their family tree but the unlucky ones are burnt in the chimney called life.
Profile Image for Nowrin Samrina Lily.
156 reviews16 followers
July 20, 2022
Stick man is lonely,Stick man is lost
Stick man is frozen and covered in frost
বইটা ১০মিনিটের মাথায় শেষ হয়ে গেল পড়া!! আমি তো ভয়ই পেয়ে গিয়েছিলাম,এই বুঝি সব শেষ হয়ে যাবে। কিন্তু নাহ। ভাগ্যিস বাচ্চাদের বই বলে হয়তো এন্ডিং সুন্দর ছিল। কিন্তু যা বুঝলাম, আমি আর জীবনেও স্টিক নিয়ে খেলা করবোনা🥺
Moral of the story - always stick with your loved ones💜
Profile Image for Saumen.
119 reviews
July 20, 2022
বইপড়ুয়ারা অন্তত বইয়ের জগতে ভারী আবেগী। একেকটা পাতা, ভাসিয়ে নেয়, হাসায়, কাঁদায়, অন্য একটা জগতে নিয়ে যায়। নইলে সোমদাদার মত চল্লিশ বছরের একজন গ্রোন আপ ম্যান কি বাচ্চাদের বই পড়তে গিয়ে কাঁদে?

হ্যাঁ, আমার পরিচিত অনেক পাঠকবন্ধুই সোমদাদার হাত ধরেই বইটার সন্ধান পেয়েছেন, আমিও। আর পড়তে পড়তে চোখে জল বহু কষ্টে আটকালেও " Oh God, Oh my god, no please..." আওড়াতে আওড়াতে পড়েছি আমিও। ছোট্ট বই, মাত্র ৩২ পাতার, ছন্দ আর ছবিতে কোথায় যেন ছুঁয়ে গেছে সত্যিই।

" I'm Stick man, stick man, 

Stick man,that's me!

And I want to go home to the family tree!!!"

লাঠি-মানুষ কি পেরেছিল সেই প্রার্থিত জায়গায় পৌছাঁতে? সবকিছু সয়ে, ঝড়, মানুষ, রাজহাঁস এড়িয়ে সে কি যেতে পেরেছিল তার তিন লাঠি-বাচ্চা আর লাঠি-বউয়ের কাছে??

পড়ে ফেলুন, যোগ দিন আমাদের ছোট্ট আবেগের মহোৎসবে।
Profile Image for Salima Akhtar  Nabila .
21 reviews7 followers
December 14, 2022
I've always got a soft corner for playful simple books with beautiful meanings, which is why it is taking me more time to register the meaning in my head than finish it by reading. lovely!
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,083 reviews173 followers
December 8, 2018
When Stick Man, who lives with his "Stick Lady Love and their stick children three", is mistaken for an ordinary twig in this humorous rhyming tale, he experiences a series of misadventures that take him far from home. Used by a dog in a game of fetch, by a series of children for such things as a pen or the arm of a snowman, by a swan as part of a next, Stick Man keeps insisting that he is who he is, rather than some sort of inanimate toy or tool. It is only when he crosses paths with Santa Claus that he is recognized as himself, and his wish - to return home - is granted...

Having enjoyed a number of British author Julia Donaldson and German illustrator Axel Scheffler's other rhyming picture-book adventures, from The Gruffalo to Room on the Broom , I picked up this holiday tale with a great deal of pleasant expectation. I was not disappointed, finding the narrative entertaining and the colorful artwork appealing. Stick Man, like so many of this duo's creations, was made for reading aloud, and is sure to amuse young audiences, even as it keeps them on the edge of their seats, wondering whether the eponymous Stick Man will get home in time for Christmas. Recommended to fans of Donaldson and Scheffler, and to anyone looking for fun, lighthearted Christmas (or any other time of the year) picture-book reads.
12 reviews
July 31, 2012
Donaldson's picture book tells the story of Stick Man and the troublesome adventure he experiences after beginning a jog. On this adventure, he wants nothing other than to return home to his family. However, Stick Man fails to receive this wish. From being a mast on a sand castle to being an arm on a snow man, Stick Man accepts that he may never return home. In a surprising twist, Stick Man is returned home by Santa just in time for Christmas.
This story is very enjoyable as it demonstrates the various uses for sticks which in turn can encourage the children to suggest their own uses for sticks. The rhyming scheme is simple but effective, allowing the children to join in and identify the rhyming words in the story. This picture book would be suitable for Early Years in the lead up to christmas as the illustrations introduce a magical christmas atmosphere. The fact that the story begins in the season of Autumn and finishes in Winter is shown by the eye catching illustrations and these can allow the children to create an association between different pictures and different seasons of the year.
July 21, 2022
জীবন সুন্দর! কিন্তু কিছু কিছু সময় আসে জীবনে, যখন আমরা কিছু মানুষের ক্ষেত���রে দুর্বোদ্ধ হয়ে উঠি ! তখন, স্টিকমানের মতো বারংবার আপন অবস্থান হতে নিজেদের প্রতিনিয়ত প্রমাণ করে যেতে হয়, তখন শুধু স্টিকমানের মতো বলতে ইচ্ছে হয়,
"I'm not a stick! Why can't you see?,
I'm stick man, I'm stick man,
I'M STICK MAN that's me
And i want to go home to the family tree!"🥺
15 reviews2 followers
October 14, 2013
Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Age range I would use it for: 5 – 7

Brief Synopsis: This is the journey of Stick Man, trying to find his way back home after taken off route from his daily jog. The dangers of being a stick man away from home; dogs want to play, swans want to build and fire wants to burn. But on Stick Man’s journey he meets somebody stuck in a chimney, who could this be?
My Opinion:
I found this story really interesting, it takes the reader on a journey, uncovering the activities that wrongly mistake the Stick Man and use him as a stick for; a snowman, a pen, a twig to name a few. There is a variety of punctuation and literary devises to enrich a child’s understanding and practise of reading and writing, yet simple sentence structure. This is also a great seasonal book, ideal for the winter and Christmas, because of the weather and the festivities in the story.
Uses In The Classroom:
This book lends itself well to a variety of cross curricular activities. In addition to reading aloud to a year 1 or 2 class, children can make their own Stick Man illustrations, collages or figurines. With collages, the class can collect materials from the playground and make their own ‘still scenes’ after listening to the story. This task can then be extended to an ICT lesson, allowing students to make their own stop motion animations using their Stick Man, or making short videos. This will allow children to use technology and software, finishing with an end product. In addition to English, for the topic of ‘descriptive words’ children can write their own deleted scenes, and to link into the above idea, sketch out a storyboard to follow whilst filming a ‘missing scene’ from the Stick Man’s journey. All these tasks can be differentiated for lower and higher KS1, by varying what is expected as a learning objective for the lesson. For foundation stage of history, the events of the stick man’s journey can be plotted on a time line, to help 5-7 year-old's understand the concept of past events.
Profile Image for Nola Lorraine.
Author 1 book37 followers
August 12, 2015
Stick Man lives in a tree with his wife and three children. While jogging one day, he's fetched by a dog. All sorts of things happen to him after that and he ends up further and further from his family. He tries to explain that he's a Stick Man not a stick, but his explanation falls on deaf ears. Will he be reunited with his family before he's burned to a crisp in a fireplace?

Another good rhyming book from the author of The Gruffalo.
Profile Image for William Ford.
Author 3 books47 followers
August 22, 2019
“I love this book, can we read it again”. The story has everything a picture book should have, a lovable character, adventure, love and family. Stick Man is a classic that has been read in our household hundreds of times. From the rhyming melody of the text to the amazing illustrations by Axel Scheffler, stick man is a classic. One of dads favorite ever picture books.
Profile Image for Brandy.
642 reviews6 followers
November 21, 2015
Not my favorite - even knowing everything turns out okay, it's a bit of a stressful read. I wish Stick Man was enjoying his adventures instead of miserable, homesick, and in danger for pretty much the whole book.
305 reviews3 followers
November 21, 2020
This is a great, fun story to read at Christmas with brilliant illustrations, lots of rhyme and repetition. It would be good to use in KS1 and would encourage children to join in with the story, making reading more interactive and enjoyable.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 473 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.