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The unlikely hero-a sharp, wooden stick-of Lechner's (Sticky Burr) fable about expressing oneself has an extraordinary mind (a watercolor spot shows a thought balloon above the stick that reads "a2+b2=c2"). Because he can't speak, though, he can't share his knowledge and feelings. "When he came across a frog writing a poem, he wanted to share a simile about the sun being like a dragon. But he could not." Then the stick realizes that his sharp end leaves a line in the sand. He can draw, and, for the first time, the world recognizes his existence: "As he scribbled, the plants and animals gathered around and watched in rapt attention." The stick's sand drawing is a tapestry of fantasy elements: a castle, a dragon, woodland creatures on sailing ships. When the rain soon washes it away, "the stick didn't care.... He knew at last he had found his voice." It's a triumphant moment. Our best gifts, Lechner seems to say, may not lie where we expect, but it is only in their pursuit that we find ourselves. Ages 5-8. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.