HOW TO by Julie Morstad
Kirkus Star

HOW TO

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

Smart, clean design and a text built around unpunctuated phrases offer room to pause, ponder and discuss in this book of quiet joy.

Ample white space foregrounds a multicultural cast, whose patterned clothing, props and minimal, but visually exciting, settings take center stage. In the opening spread, “how to go fast,” readers consider options as eight youngsters whoosh by, one riding a scooter, another navigating stilts, a third sporting butterfly wings. The parade’s leader is nearly off the page. “How to see the wind” prompts conversation about the kites, grass and hair shown at various angles—and the metaphysical question itself. Morstad explores topics of interest to children, from “staying close” (two girls sharing one braid) to disappearing—a scene in which meaning comes first from the curtained image; the text is nearly invisible. She intersperses colorful backgrounds, as well as single- and double-spread compositions for an overall effect that elicits anticipation at every turn. As in this Canadian’s illustrations for the work of other authors (Caroline Woodward’s Singing Away the Dark, 2010; Sara O’Leary’s When I Was Small, 2012), the characters’ delicate features exhibit an absorption in their activities that simultaneously signals the seriousness and satisfaction of concentration. The “be happy” conclusion portrays unself-conscious movement—including that initial runner, leaving the book.

In these inventive scenarios, children will recognize themselves and find new ways to be. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-897476-57-4
Page count: 36pp
Publisher: Simply Read
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2013




MORE BY JULIE MORSTAD

ChildrenTHE SWING by Robert Louis Stevenson
by Robert Louis Stevenson
ChildrenWHEN I WAS SMALL by Sara O'Leary
by Sara O'Leary
ChildrenSINGING AWAY THE DARK by Caroline Woodward
by Caroline Woodward

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHOW TO BE A CAT by Nikki McClure
by Nikki McClure
ChildrenIF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE by Julie Fogliano
by Julie Fogliano
ChildrenSHADOW by Suzy Lee
by Suzy Lee