Spoon – Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Scott Magoon
Lately, little Spoon has been feeling like the other utensils have it way better than he does. Fork, Knife and The Chopsticks all do really cool things! Maybe, though, it’s just as good to be a spoon.
The first time I read Spoon, I thought it was sweet and clever and quite funny in that same looking-at-ordinary-things-from-another-angle way that Little Hoot was. I liked the childlike voice of the text, and though it wasn’t the most spectacular thing I’d ever read, I could see myself eagerly recommending it to others. I thought the illustrations were great, too–all the utensils have adorable faces, and they always look so happy to be doing what they’re doing that it made me want to go have a meal just to give my own utensils some satisfaction. Then a co-worker at Curious George pointed out something very important. A spork.
Mr. Magoon, you put a SPORK in the Spoon Family portrait! A lonely-looking spork who clearly felt like it didn’t belong, and whose expression evoked a troubled past of identity issues and Ugly Duckling syndrome. Then we never heard another word (or saw another glimpse) about it! Spoon was cute and clever, but after looking more closely at the Spoon Family spread, I want a story about sad little Spork! The poor in-between utensil is way more interesting to me than a plain old spoon, and I find myself disappointed. You hit on something in your illustration that made me wish the text, sweet as it was, went differently. So Spoon gets four stars–but Spork, I’m sure, would have gotten five.