Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Kyo Maclear; Illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault

The only place I have seen sporks is in fast food restaurants.  I wondered if children would know what they are, but apparently they are common in school cafeterias, because my six year old identified it with one glance. 

Spork is a cross between a spoon and a fork. He has the rounded lower head of spoon, but on top of that poke three short tines of a fork. His mother is a beautiful spoon and his father is a sharp looking fork. Unfortunately for Spork, cutlery mixing is not common place and he sticks out like a sort thumb in the cutlery drawer. In Spork's kitchen, knives marry knives and spoons stick to their own kind.  Poor Spork.

As you might think, Spork feels quite out of place. To fit in, he tries to appear to more spoonish by wearing a bowler hat. This fools no one. He makes himself a paper crown to appear more forkish, but this too falls flat. At dinner time, Spork watches wistfully from the sidelines while others grace the dinner table.  His feet remain dry while they enjoy a post-dinner bubble filled soak in the sink. 

Until one day ... a very messy thing arrives in the kitchen.  This thing has no table manners and slops food from one side of the kitchen to the other. The forks and spoons are in a tizzy because not one of them can keep up with the demands. The thing needs something that was neither spoon nor fork, but a bit of both. Enter Spork, who is just a bit round and just a bit pointy - absolutely perfect (for this thing called a baby)! And so Spork arrives at the dinner table and remains there for many, many meals to come. 

Aw, I think this is such a cute book filled with beautiful illustrations. I would never have imagined a really great children's book would be written about something as mundane as a spork, but there you have it.  All the utensils are drawn so sweetly, with unique expressions and clothing.  And I love how the story is set up so that the cutlery drawer is a whole way of life.  Smart writing and the wonderful illustrations make this a winner! And if you really need another reason, there's the little lesson of not discriminating against a utensil (or person) based on appearance. 

Review copy provided by Kids Can Press.

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