Spork - Thao Lam
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I grew up using chopsticks, so whenever I am asked to set the table at a friend’s house, there is a moment of panic and stark reminder of how different I am even though I have called Canada home since I was three. (By the way, setting the table in an Asian family is easy – everyone gets two sticks). Keep reading…

Cutlery customs are followed closely when tables are set for meals. In the kitchen, utensils are carefully sorted by shape and use; forks are forks and spoons are spoons. Spork written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault is a story about being different and learning to embrace our differences. Spork is neither a spoon like his mother nor a fork like his father but a bit of both. They love him dearly, but he can’t help feeling a little out of place in the kitchen.

If you were looking for something different and quirky, I would recommend checking out Isabelle Aresenault’s portfolio. Her work is a cut and paste of paper, textile, and white photocopies mixed together with paint and pencil. She uses a muted chromatic grey colour palette with daps of tomato orange here and there to help emphasize certain parts of the story. The characters created for Spork remind me of the animated commercials they use to run in theaters at the beginning of a movie, popcorn and soda pops with happy faces dancing across the screen. You can’t but help feeling happy when looking at Isabelle’s work.

Spork, a children’s book review by Thao Lam

Author Kyo Maclear

“Kyo Maclear is a self-professed spork – her father is British and her mother is Japanese.” She was born in London, England and moved to Canada at the age of four. Kyo did a brief stint in acting before she began writing as a career. Not hard to imagine coming from a creative family background. Her father is a foreign correspondent and documentary filmmaker and her mother a painter and art dealer. Kyo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art and Art History from the University of Toronto, followed by a Masters in Cultural Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Check out Kyo Maclear’s website: www.kyomaclearkids.ca and www.kyomaclear.ca


Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault

Isabella Arsenault is a Quebec born illustrator who studied graphic design at the University of Quebec in Montreal. After her studies in design, she switched over to illustration, where she has been illustrating for magazines and children’s book. It seem like it was the right decision, her books have gain numerous attention and awards. Check out what all the attention is about, visit Isabelle Arsenault’s website


Publisher KIDS CAN PRESS (Sep 1 2010)

ISBN-10 1553377362

ISBN-13 978-1553377368