Stick Man is happy with his Stick Lady Love and their stick children three–until a dog finds him and snatches him for a game of fetch. This is the beginning of a terrible journey during which, Odysseus-like, Stick Man tries to get back but is taken farther and farther away from his home as he is used over the months for everything from a boomerang to a snowman's arm. Readers will feel his anguish and cheer his eventual return (by Santa Claus no less, who rescues him from a fireplace on Christmas Eve) to his loving family. Bouncy, repetitive rhymes make this a good choice for storytime, and the saturated color illustrations carry well (although Stick Man does tend to blend, chameleonlike, into his surroundings). A slightly surreal holiday choice.