Arsenault’s quirky and loveable illustrations immediately set the tone for a story about a spork who feels like he sticks out for his mixed-configuration, not fitting in with the distinct groups of spoon or fork. Though his “mum” (a spoon) and dad (a fork) think he’s perfect, the hurtful comment of “What are you, anyway?” and lack of invitations to the kitchen table push him to alter his appearance to fit in. But a bowler hat makes him look “too round” to the forks, and a spiky crown makes him look “too pointy” to the spoons. Then one day, when the “messy thing”—a baby—arrives in the kitchen and wreaks havoc, Spork is just the utensil to get the job done: “Just a bit round. Just a bit pointy. Just right.” The predominantly black-and-white illustrations with a splattering of red-orange and light blue impressively portray Spork’s story and boast loads of fun kitchen tools, unique cutlery facial expressions, and an entertaining reveal of the toddler. The element of Spork using a bowler hat and crown to fit in with different groups provides a powerful remark on the hardship of pleasing both sides when caught in the middle. As a republished board book edition of Maclear’s debut children’s book, Spork is a substantive and meaningful read for young minds. Not only is it a fun story, but its deeper lessons on tolerance, diversity, mixed families (inspired by Maclear’s own childhood), and individuality provide for great discussion prompts as readers grow and develop.
Kyo Maclear is a critically acclaimed author whose books have received starred reviews, appeared on numerous “Best of” lists, and been published in multiple languages around the world. One of her picture books, Virginia Wolf, has been adapted for the stage, and another, Julia, Child is currently being adapted into an animated television series. She lives in Toronto.
Isabelle Arsenault is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator whose work has won many awards and much praise from critics. Her books include Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, and Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt, which was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book. The poetry expressed through Isabelle Arsenault’s graphic universe, the gentleness of her lines and the overall charm of her books have made her one of Quebec’s best-known and most esteemed illustrators.
Nothing yet! You should let Isabelle Arsenault know that you want to hear from them about their book.
Nothing yet! You should let Kyo Maclear know that you want to hear from them about their book.