Spork is the hybrid of a mother spoon and a father fork. This marriage is rare in the utensil world, as cutlery remains segregated. With his points and roundness in conflict with each other, Spork does not fit in with the other spoons or forks. He attempts to artificially change his appearance but fails. Useless and lonely, Spork contemplates his existence on the dinner table. One day, a messy creature struggles to use the other utensils, and Spork seizes the opportunity to shine. Unafraid, he rushes in to save the meal. This “messy thing” turns out to be a baby, and Spork is just what this infant needs—a little bit of everything—to eat.
Maclear notes that she too is a “Spork,” coming from a biracial household with a British father and Japanese mother. A story about interracial relations and fitting in, Spork is a unique way to explain acceptance, differences, and loving oneself. For preschool to second grade, the text is simple and powerful. Arsenault’s metallic-colored illustrations complement the silverware theme but are also a bit disturbing. Whether meant to be humorous or just some spaghetti sauce, the red liquid bursts look like a bloody massacre. Some of the utensils’ faces are slightly creepy as well as the headshot of the infant, with a bib covered in red splotches. I would have loved this book so much more with cuter faces for the utensils and different coloring for the food.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Kids Can Press for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review. Spork is set to publish April 4, 2017.
Spork by Kyo Mclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault (Kids Can Press, 2017)