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list price: $9.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
published: April 2017
ISBN:9781771388054
publisher: Kids Can Press

Spork

by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

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self-esteem & self-reliance
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $9.95
edition:Paperback
also available: Hardcover eBook
published: April 2017
ISBN:9781771388054
publisher: Kids Can Press
Description

His mum is a spoon. His dad is a fork. And he's a bit of both. He's Spork!

Spork sticks out in the regimented world of the cutlery drawer. The spoons think he's too pointy, while the forks find him too round. He never gets chosen to be at the table at mealtimes until one day a very messy ... thing arrives in the kitchen who has never heard of cutlery customs. Will Spork finally find his place at the table?

This “multi-cutlery” tale is a humorous and lively commentary on individuality and tolerance. Its high-spirited illustrations capture the experience and emotions of anyone who has ever wondered about their place in the world.

About the Authors

Kyo Maclear is the author of many books for children, including Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli, and some for adults. When she was a little girl, she wanted very badly to be a fashion designer. She spent countless hours drawing odd dresses, including a very special cloud dress. Her style muses include her mother, Patti Smith, the residents of Moominvalley, and anyone with a sense of casual and androgynous flair. Though she loved writing about Schiaparelli’s signature color, shocking pink, Kyo’s own favorite color is blue. She plants her garden with flowers in all shades of blue, and in spring when they bloom, it’s a blue extravaganza. Kyo makes her home in Toronto, where she lives with her two sons and husband, a musician. You can find her at www.kyomaclearkids.com.

 

Author profile page >

Isabelle Arsenault is an internationally renowned children’s book illustrator whose work has won many awards. Her books include Alpha, Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear, Cloth Lullaby by Amy Novesky, Once Upon a Northern Night by Jean E. Pendziwol and Migrant by Maxine Trottier.

Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault first collaborated on the graphic novel Jane, the Fox and Me, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration (French) and the Joe Shuster Awards for Best Writer and Best Artist. It was also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Kyo Maclear is an award-winning writer and novelist. Her first book for children, Spork, has received a number of honors, including a 2011 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award nomination. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Isabelle Arsenault has illustrated several children's books, including Spork, My Letter to the World and Other Poems and Mr. Gaugin's Heart. She has received many awards for her work, including the Governor General's Award for Illustration. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
3 to 7
Grade:
p to 2
Awards
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Winner, Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street Children's Book Committee
  • Winner, Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities, IBBY
  • Short-listed, Horace Mann Upstanders Book Award
Editorial Reviews

While some picture-book tales have difficulty promoting the 'different can be good' message without slipping into deep didactism, Maclear's text feels nearly effortless. The inanimate-object identification also pairs brilliantly with Arsenault's melding of mixed media and digital art.

— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

It's a story that could wilt under the weight of moral high-mindedness, but the graceful voice of Maclear, making her children's book debut, keeps it light and entertaining.

— Publishers Weekly

... the lighthearted storytelling and whimsical mixed-media illustrations will draw readers in, and adults will find the book to be a useful conversation starter for the topics of race, difference, and acceptance.

— School Library Journal

Arsenault's expressive drawings of an un-happy spork are instantly winning.

— The New York Times

... her message of acceptance will resonate, particularly with parents.

— Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Spork

Spork sticks out. The product of an intercutlery marriage, Spork is a little bit spoonish and a little bit forkish, but not enough of either. He is tired of being asked, “What are you anyway?” And he’s especially tired of never being set for the table. When he decides to try being a single thing, the forks don’t like it when he looks too round, and the spoons don’t like it when he looks too pointy. What is he going to do? Then one day, a Messy Thing arrives, something that smears, spills and flings “without a care.” All the forks and spoons are at a loss as to what to do for the Messy Thing. But Spork knows exactly what is needed!

This is an endearing story with an appealing and sympathetic character in Spork. The language is simple and engaging, making the story a fun read-aloud. Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations are rendered in mixed media, their colours soft and earth-toned, and with a silvery finish as though the reader is spending time in a kitchen or cutlery drawer. Not only are the illustrations whimsical, but Spork and the others are expressive in their emotions. When Spork wonders about other creatures with “no matching kind,” children will love trying to identify such Arsenault imaginings as a teapot with a knife blade instead of a spout and a rolling pin attached to a corkscrew. What other combinations might children imagine?

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2010. Volume 33 No. 4.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Spork

Spork is neither a spoon nor a fork. He tries to be more spoonish, but the forks think he’s too round. He tries to be more forkish, but the spoons think he’s too pointy. Finally a messy thing arrives, and Spork finds his place at the table. This humorous “multi-cutlery” tale is a charming story for anyone who has ever struggled to find his or her place in the world.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

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