Publication Date: January 2012
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Meet Chopsticks! They've been best friends forever. But one day, this inseparable pair comes to a fork in the road. And for the very first time, they have to figure out how to function apart. From New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and rising artistic talent Scott Magoon, this witty and inventive tale celebrates both independence and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.
Amy Krouse Rosenthal is the author of award-winning picture book favorites such as Spoon; Duck! Rabbit!; Little Pea; Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons; and The Wonder Book. Her books for adults include Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and she is also the creator of the film project, The Beckoning of Lovely. Amy lives with her family in Chicago and online at www.whoisamy.com.
Scott Magoon is the author and illustrator of Hugo & Miles in I've Painted Everything! He also illustrated Granny Gomez & Jigsaw by Deborah Underwood, Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, and Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau. Scott lives outside Boston with his wife and children.
The chopsticks from Rosenthal and Magoon's Spoon (2009) take center stage in this clever companion book, which is as charming and whimsical as its predecessor. Best friends, the chopsticks are all but inseparable. "They go everywhere together. They do everything together. They're practically attached at the hip." But while trying a fancy new culinary trick, one of the chopsticks snaps and is whisked away (literally, by a whisk) to the medicine cabinet, where a grave bottle of glue pronounces, "It was a clean break. He just needs to stay off it while it sets." The marriage of text, digital art, and design provide plentiful puns and laugh-out-loud humor, as the injured chopstick encourages his friend to explore the world without him ("Go! Chop, chop!"). He eventually picks up a whole new set of skills, helping Spoon pole vault, testing cupcakes for doneness, and even conducting a motley kitchen-utensil orchestra. Rosenthal spells out the story's message-"Unexpectedly, being apart had made each of them even stronger"-but it's leavened with plenty of droll comedy, reminding readers that solo practice can make for even better duets.—PW
In this companion book to Spoon, Rosenthal outlines the amusing activities of a pair of chopsticks who are not only working partners but also BFFs. Then the tip of one chopstick is broken in an unfortunate encounter with an asparagus spear, and after getting medical attention (the glue bottle mends him and wraps the "wound" with a bandage) the injured chopstick must "stay off it until it sets." At first, the non-injured chopstick stays close by his friend's side, but the injured one finally tells him, "You need to get out . . . venture off on your own a bit." The chopsticks discover that time away from each other can also be a good thing: "Unexpectedly, being apart had made each of them even stronger." Rosenthal's message about friendship isn't exactly subtle, but it also isn't preachy, and the kitchenware antics keep the mood light and humorous. Multiple textual and visual puns ("Chopstick was quickly whisked away" is accompanied by a picture of the injured chopstick being carried off by a whisk with a first aid cross-emblazoned handle) will also tickle kids' funny bones, as will the slew of pop-eyed, anthropomorphized utensils. The slightly muted colors of Magoon's gently goofy digital art are well matched to the amusing yet thoughtful tone of the text. While Spoon would be the obvious partner to this title, it also might buddy up well with the comical and equally anthropomorphic characters of Grey's Traction Man Is Here (BCCB 5/05), or it could be used as a springboard for creative writing, art, or puppet performances involving kitchen utensils and googly yes. JH—BCCB
K-Gr 2 Chopsticks, the "cool and exotic" duo first introduced in Spoon (Albert Whitman, 2010), have always done everything together, from playing hide-and-seek behind the broccoli to twirling spaghetti. However, when they experiment with karate chopping the asparagus, disaster strikes. While the broken one rests, allowing the glue to set, his partner never leaves his side. After a week passes, however, the injured chopstick insists that his friend venture out on his own. Reluctant at first, protesting that he can't possibly do anything by himself, the chopstick eventually discovers that he can indeed function independently, and when his friend has recuperated, they discover new things together. This sweet story of friendship features a lot of droll wordplay. For example, when Chopstick needs to be whisked away for medical attention, it is the whisk that does the whisking. Magoon's expressive, digitally rendered cartoons are the perfect complement to this quirky tale. Not an essential purchase, but great fun. Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ—SLJ
In this sorta sequel to Spoon (2009)-"More like a change in place setting," Spoon quips on the cover-best friends Chopsticks have their longtime act literally broken up when a high-flying attempt to stab an asparagus leads to a broken tip. After one stick is whisked away (by a whisk) for repairs, the other must learn to do stuff on his own: skewer, vault, play pick-up sticks, and more. There are gags aplenty (the hospital is run by a box of bandages and a bottle of glue), and Magoon's droll, adorable artwork finishes off this ode to "standing on our own . . . and to sticking together!" - Daniel Kraus—Booklist
This companion to the well-loved Spoon (2009) is equally charming. When one member of a pair of chopsticks suffers an accident, both learn that friendship can benefit from separation. Full of visual and verbal puns, with a supporting cast of the familiar Knife, Fork and Spoon, the plucky chopsticks learn that sticking together sometimes requires venturing out alone. Encouraged by his injured friend to get out and go, the healthy chopstick discovers hidden strengths by joining in a game of pick-up sticks, helping Spoon with the pole vault, testing cupcakes for doneness and conducting a cutlery band. When the friend recovers (and "[f]eels fantastic(k)!"), the two find that being apart "had made each of them even stronger"-and furthermore they find many new things they can now do together. "Toasted" by their friends, they conclude with a rendition of "Chopsticks," with Magoon's clever drawings hitting all the right notes. Most picture books that deal with a separation between friends focus either on healing after an argument or getting by after a friend has moved away. This is refreshing in its lighthearted, upbeat treatment of the value of occasionally going one's own way. Who knew there were so many lessons to be learned from a cutlery drawer? (Picture book. 4-8)—Kirkus