Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Stick

Publication Information:
New York : Dial Books For Young Readers, ©2007.
Physical Description:
1 volume : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
An independent young frog goes on a wild adventure when he accidentally gets carried away by a dragonfly.


Call Number
JP Breen

On Order



Stick is a frog who likes to do things on his own-with no help from Mom. But one day he gets carried away . . . literally. His tongue accidentally sticks to a dragonfly when he tries to catch a mosquito, and off he's pulled across the swamp, through town, and into the big city of New Orleans, causing some very funny havoc along the way. When he finds himself stranded at the seashore, far from his mom, will he finally be ready to ask for help?

Author/illustrator Steve Breen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and the creator of the comic strip Grand Avenue. Stick , his picture-book debut, is rambunctious, silly, and couldn't be more endearing.

Author Notes

Steve Breen is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist whose comic strip Grand Avenue regularly appears in more than 150 newspapers. He has also written and illustrated several popular picture books, including Pug & Doug , Violet the Pilot , and Stick

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-Stick is a young frog with a very long tongue and a hunger for adventure. One day he zaps a dragonfly, his tongue sticks to the insect, and he's carried off along the Mississippi River and into New Orleans. After being dropped onto a horse's nose and flicked back into the air, Stick attaches his tongue to a balloon bouquet for a scenic city tour. Drifting back to the country, he has several more airborne escapades before jumping onto a seagull's beak for a ride above the Gulf of Mexico. Finally dropped onto a dock, he's alone and scared. He asks a heron for help and the bird flies him home to his mother. Hungry, he zaps a firefly instead of a mosquito and takes on the bug's glow ("Oops"). Done in watercolors, acrylics, colored pencil, and Photoshop, the artwork is large, detailed, and colorful. The illustrations vary in size and layout, mixing close-ups of Stick with broader action shots and aerial views of the changing landscape. With a frenetic pace and loads of humor, the art perfectly conveys the frog's childlike exuberance and the story's lighthearted mood. An appended map traces Stick's journey. A fun, filled-with-thrills romp.-Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Editorial cartoonist Breen makes his children's book debut with this lighthearted tale about a determined young frog who must experience everything for himself. The opening series of panels depicts a parent offering suggestions that clearly fall on deaf ears: "Stick liked to do things on his own... all by himself," reads the text as the young hero lands on a turtle's back ("Oops"). When Stick suddenly finds that his tongue has become stuck to a dragonfly, which carries him aloft, he fails to realize the precariousness of his situation. Breen's panel illustrations transport readers along with the green fellow, through the swamp, to a bustling New Orleans and beyond. It's Breen's detailed artwork that supplies the heft to this tale with few words. Observant readers will pick up Breen's ode to the Deep South, peppered with a witty tone, as in the "Ragin' Cajun" tattoo on a motorcyclist or the "wiggly piggly" roadside billboard. He also captures the beauty of the scenery, especially in the spreads of wetlands with live oaks, which serve as Stick's habitat. At story's end, youngsters will be pleased that the precocious fledgling adventurer has made it back home, while parents may appreciate the message that young ones sometimes need to leave the pond in order to gain a sense of the big picture. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Adventurous frog Stick's long, sticky tongue inadvertently adheres to a large dragonfly and so begins his haphazard aerial tour around the New Orleans coastal environs. Humorous watercolor, acrylic, and pencil illustrations arranged in paneled segments and double-page spreads work together to depict the little frog's slight but amusing story. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

For his children's debut, Pulitzer Prize-winner Breen sends a small frog with a sticky tongue and notably bad aim on an impromptu tour of New Orleans and environs. Hooking a passing dragonfly instead of a tasty mosquito, Stick gets literally carried away--hurtling out of the bayou, through a small town, past Antoine's and other French Quarter landmarks, then out into the countryside, with sudden brief stops on a horse's nose, a biker's face and elsewhere. At last, with a fine disregard for the natural predator/prey relationship, Breen sends the weary amphibian winging home aboard a friendly heron. Though not so rich in plot or pratfalls as the likes of David Wiesner's Tuesday (1991) or Jennifer Armstrong's Once Upon A Banana (2006), illustrated by David Small, this comic outing is drawn with confident simplicity, and presented in a sequence of large, wordless, or nearly wordless, panels. A promising beginning. (Picture book. 4-6) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Little frog Stick is a daredevil who likes to explore the world on his own. One day, though, he gets a bit carried away--literally. While trying to snag a dragonfly for lunch, Stick's tongue gets stuck to the insect's belly, and he is pulled from his lily pad, straight into the air. With minimal words, Breen's appealing paint-and-pencil pictures fill in the story of Stick's adventures, as he is pulled from swamp, to neighborhood, to downtown jazzy city (New Orleans), and then out to the highway, where he hitches a ride with a bird, who carries him home to his comforting mother. The story is slight, but Breen generates plenty of fun and suspense in the skillfully rendered, animated pictures, many of which are presented from a bird's-eye view. A final scene, in which Stick swallows a firefly and begins to glow, will leave kids chortling, even as they may recognize themselves in young Stick, whose innocent curiosity sometimes leads to trouble. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2007 Booklist