A cautionary tale about making experiences last.
The riotous utensil community Rosenthal and Magoon introduced in Spoon (2009) and continued in Chopsticks (2012) returns for a series conclusion starring a blue-and-white–striped bendable straw who “has a great thirst for being first.” Straw slurps up everything in sight, from the water in a flower bowl to a cup of tea, while friends look on in dismay. Since nobody else seems to be competing with Straw, both his fervor and their unhappiness feel ungrounded. But when Straw tries to speed through an icy drink, he’s laid low by brain freeze and “his heart sank,” an awfully dramatic response. Straw’s friend, a novelty straw with loop-de-loop eyes, helps him appreciate the pleasures of taking in life slowly, and Straw is forever changed, suddenly appreciating the colors, textures, and experiences in the world. At bedtime, a parent kisses him and explains that “what you’re feeling is called awe, Straw.” By the end, “sometimes he still wants to be first. But most of the time, Straw wants to make the good things last.” Magoon’s energetic cartoon illustrations are fun to look at, but the lengthy story drives its point into the ground, and neither the problem nor the resolution is interesting enough to convince hasty children to slow down their central nervous systems.
Doesn’t quite hit the spot. (Picture book. 3-6)