“A Sublime Little Parable”-Kirkus

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Spork has received a few very nice reviews in Publishers Weekly, Quill and Quire, ParentDish, and Kirkus Review.

I’ve never been one to give my kids gold stickers for their efforts, but I have to say it was lovely to learn from my publisher that Kirkus had given Spork a ‘starred’ review.

Here’s what they had to say:

“Children of mixed marriages are about to find an unlikely ally in their cutlery drawers. Spork stands out. With a spoon for a mum and a fork for a dad, Spork is simultaneously too round and too pointy to fit in. Time and again he’s passed over at the dinner table. That is, until the day a ‘messy thing’ joins the family and everyone sees that when it comes to managing its baby food only a true spork will do. While some picture-book tales have difficulty promoting the “different can be good” message without slipping into deep didactism, Maclear’s text feels nearly effortless. The inanimate-object identification also pairs brilliantly with Arsenault’s melding of mixed media and digital art. Against the mostly black-and-white images, the frenzied red globs of the baby’s food explode off the printed page. Immediate comparisons are bound to be made to Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Spoon (illustrated by Scott Magoon, 2009), but any good kitchen has room for both. A sublime little parable. (Picture book. 4-8)”

In case you’re wondering: just two more days until SPORK is out in stores.

Welcome and Hello!

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First off, I’d like to say a BIG THANK YOU to my friend Michael Barker (of Acme Art and Design) for putting together this beautiful new website and blog for SPORK. I’m also perpetually grateful to illustrator Isabelle Arsenault for her exquisite work. (You can check out her portfolio at: www.isabellearsenault.com)

SPORK will be officially in stores on September 1st, 2010. (It’s already available through certain online booksellers.) Please ask at your local bookstores in the autumn. And spread the word.

One thing I didn’t mention on the website is that the book started off as a small chapbook that my husband, David, and I created on the eve of our first son’s birth (back in 2001!)

Here is an image from that original book. (I did the drawings on scratchboard.)

The story changed and grew (for example, it’s no longer told in rhyming couplets). It found new friends (in particular, Tara Walker at Kids Can Press). It was introduced to the most wonderful illustrator imaginable (that’s you, Isabelle). But the spirit of the original chapbook has stayed the same.

And now it’s here. Almost. What a wonderful journey.

Happy Birthday Spork.