Size matters

big stick cover

How big is a stick?

This is very dated. The illustrations are bizarre and look even older than early 1970s. Andy and Jerry go around comparing sticks to body parts. (Of course I immediately wanted to make a bunch of tasteless jokes, because it is just too easy.)

Andy and Jerry need better hobbies and they need to be a bit more clever with names. 80 percent of this book is focused on the naming and comparing of these sticks. The last bit is when Andy and Jerry’s dad shows up and talks about rulers. The end.

I have questions. I want to know why they have so many sticks. Don’t these people gather them up? Don’t they need kindling? What about all the dogs in the neighborhood? Don’t they have a say? All these sticks and not one dog shows up. Obviously, there is something wrong here.

Just asking the obvious questions,


naming the stick

arm stick


dad and a ruler


  1. A bundle of sticks is an arsenal, man. Staves, swords, daggers, etc.

    1. I can confirm that a large part of my 1970s elementary school education was lectures from teachers about how the US would be going metric soon, and we’d all better learn it, or else. Weirdly, I don’t remember them actually teaching us the metric system itself.

      1. I do remember a few metric lessons in the 70s, which I resented at the time (having hated math in general). Now as an adult, it seems easier than our present system and I resent that we never did go that way.

      2. I actually was taught it during the Ford administration, but it ended then except in science class.

  2. This book seems to have been written in some other language (possibly machine or assembly?) and badly translated.

    Why do these boys, who look clean, well-taken care of, and have a white-collar dad, love the concept of measurement but have never seen a ruler?

    Since they seem to live in a blank void, where are all these sticks coming from? So neatly trimmed as well? I’ve lived in places that had fairly old trees, and they weren’t strewn with sticks. Has someone recently cut down an old tree and chopped it up, and the unseen dogs have distributed the branches?

    Again, I suspect robots or aliens wrote this.

  3. I’d say the book was compiled as an EASY story book and then later as a non-fiction Juvenile book. I think that’s why this book fails. It mixes the voices used in the story telling. Is that wise? I’m sure it’s done, but maybe more so for adults and not children.

  4. When I was a kid, sticks were an awesome toy that you could use your imagination to pretend it was all kinds of things, but a measuring device? As a Canadian I am amused that the boys asked for a metric ruler. I remember my teacher calling a yardstick a “meterstick”.

  5. This reminds me of some of the posters my teachers had in elementary and middle school illustrating the history of time keeping, or money and commerce, or measurement. We are all familiar with different names for different types of measuring (just hw many hands high WAS Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike anyway ?) but just how did those names come about?
    While the illustrations are basic I am not sure how you would update this primer.

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