FILED IN: Book Reviews

Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrations by Scott Magoon

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrations by Scott Magoon
Hyperion; $15.99
40 pp.; ISBN-13: 978-1423106852

Review by Amy Brozio-Andrews

It’s amazing how Amy Krouse Rosenthal can turn a simple book about a spoon into a sweet and tender appreciation of what makes an individual unique. Spoon opens with an introduction of young Spoon, an ordinary sort of utensil, and his extended family. He starts to feel a bit down when he thinks about all the great things some of the others can do and some of the exciting places they get to go. Who wouldn’t want to be a fork, useful at almost every meal, sliding into things like cake? Or what about an exotic pair of chopsticks, performing a tango amidst the sushi? And knives? To Spoon, everyone knows how much of the heavy lifting knives do at the table. It isn’t until some wise words from Spoon’s mom that he realizes that there’s a flip side to everything he thinks about his fellow utensils, and that there are lots of special things for which only a spoon will do.

Scott Magoon’s humorous illustrations give the utensils real character (make sure you check out the misfit spork in the Spoon Family photo). Their poise and expressive faces reveal much about what Spoon believes them to be, reinforcing the narrative nicely and making the book as fun to look at it as to read. Rosenthal has an uncanny ability to distill powerful emotions into an easily accessible picture book enjoyable by young children and their families as well. Ending on an uplifting note (and with Rosenthal’s characteristic humor), Spoon is highly recommended for family reading, especially when someone needs a little reminder that he or she really is a very special part of the family.