Stick Man

Written by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Axel Scheffler

For ages 4 to 8

Get this book
This book is best for:
  • action verbs
  • negatives
  • predicting
  • sequencing events
  • speech sounds - /s/ blends
  • subjective pronouns - I, he


This story follows the journey of Stick Man trying to find his way back home after being torn away from his family. There are many dangers of being a Stick Man - dogs want to play, swans want to build nests and people make fires using sticks! Just as it seems that all hope is lost, Stick Man gets rescued by none other than Santa Clause, who helps him find his way back home.

Stick Man is a cute story with a simple and repetitive rhyming scheme, which allows children to join in and identify the rhyming words in the story. As with most of Axel Scheffler’s illustrations, the pictures tell their own tale and truly bring the story to life. Children love studying the detail and can be encouraged to describe what they can see using a range of action verbs. The repetitive nature of the story makes it an ideal choice for working on grammar targets, particularly negatives (e.g. “I’m not a stick,” “I’m not a twig,” “I’m not a pen,” etc.) and subjective pronouns (e.g. “I’m Stick Man”, he is floating, he is in the chimney). This is also a fantastic book for working on /s/ blends - see the list below for some words to target.

For further speech and language goals to target using Stick Man, see the list below.

Book Details

Narrative Structure: Complete Episode

Story Plot: Journey Tale ; Repetitive Tale

  • family
  • tools
  • giving & sharing
  • Christmas
  • Santa

Speech and Language Targets

Speech Sounds:
  • /k/ - stick, bark, trick, hook, stuck
  • /m/ -man, me, mast, family, boomerang, home, game, arm, dream
  • /n/ - nest, knight, man, Santa, children, swan, snowman, yawn, down
  • /s/ blends - Stick Man, stick, swan, snow, snowman, smile, sword, stretch, scratch, scrape, nest, mast
  • conjunctions (and)
  • negatives (not, can't)
  • present progressive tense
  • subjective pronouns (I, he)
  • third person singular tense
  • action verbs (jog, fetch, drop, throw, float, weave, swim, roe, build, carry, draw, bat, sleep, play, fall, run, fly)
  • matching
  • labelling
  • describing functions of objects
  • predicting
  • making inferences
  • time
  • setting
  • sequencing
  • initiating event
  • problem
  • plans
  • feelings
  • resolution
  • direct character speech
  • repetition for emphasis
Rhyme & Sound Awareness:
  • rhyme
Book Info

Published by Scholastic in 2016 (ISBN: 9781407170718)

To stay updated on the latest and greatest picture books for speech and language development, subscribe to our email newsletter.