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Chopsticks Hardcover – January 31, 2012


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Chopsticks + Spoon + The Day the Crayons Quit
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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

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

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

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

About the Author


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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 240L (What's this?)
  • Series: Chopsticks
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (January 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423107969
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423107965
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 31 customer reviews
I've bought this book as a gift for my niece.
A. Bridges
The illustrations in this book are simple and wonderful.
Valerie A. Baute
It's clever, funny, and has a wonderful message.
Paul and Jen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Valerie A. Baute on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Spoon was an adorable book, and Chopsticks doesn't disappoint either.
Chopsticks do everything together until one of them gets hurt! At first, the other one stays with his buddy through the healing process. Eventually, he is persuaded to go out and do things on his own. What results is a growth that wouldn't have occurred if they hadn't separated, as well as a lifelong friendship that can't be "broken."

I really liked the theme of this, that it is okay to branch out and try new things. It doesn't mean you will lose your friendship or stop being able to be the chopstick that you were. The illustrations in this book are simple and wonderful. Also, it is just a very cute book for children and adults. The children will like the story. The adults will like the play on words, such as how Knife is "sharp like that". With some parent interactions, I'm sure most kids will soon pick up on the quirky sayings as well. I'm not going to give away any more of the joys of this book. You'll have to read it to discover them all.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul and Jen on March 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a stitch. Even if you haven't read Spoon, get this book! It's clever, funny, and has a wonderful message. I purchased it for my twin godchildren. . .I knew this book would hit home for them through many stages of their lives! I read it to my own kids and they giggled and laughed and giggled some more. It's great!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Reynolds on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My family loves everything by this author. She is clever and the illustrations are fun. Great lessons too. Try Spoon and This Plus That. You won't be dissappointed.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Beth S. on June 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Chopsticks are best friends. They've been that way forever. But one day one chopstick gets broken and must spend some time away from the other. While one chopstick explores new and different ways to be useful, the other chopstick must remain immobile while he's on the mend. Will Chopsticks continue to be friends after one has explored a new and different world, or will he leave his best friend behind?

In this adorable companion to the book Spoon, Amy Krouse Rosenthal's lovely story explores the dynamics of friendship and what happens when one friend goes away and the other must stay put. In addition, she also crafts her writing to allow teachers and students to discuss literary devices such as personification and play-on words. I particularly love that the kitchen whisk was the one who "whisked away" chopstick to get him medical attention - or that "no one stirred, not even spoon" while they were waiting to see if chopstick would be OK.

In addition to Rosenthal's clever writing, Scott Magoon's smile-inducing illustrations just might get you talking and making friends with your own kitchen utensils. I know I will never look at my kitchen whisk the same way again. Even though I've always been a fan of whisks, I have much greater respect for them now. :)

Don't think that because this is a picture book it is only for little kids. Because of Rosenthal's deft use of personification and puns, this would be a great book to read to older kids as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jen M. on June 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love this book! I borrowed it from the library and liked it so much that I bought a copy to give to my best friend, who is my chopstick :)
The book is clever and smart. The drawings are adorable and my 2 1/2 year old enjoyed the story as much as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By karlaandjune on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is adorable and creative! We found it to be very engaging of the imagination and giving a good message about friendship and separation. It was a quick read with a little bit of a comic book edge. very nice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ireland Mom on November 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was a cute storyline, although we didn't keep it because it was not as good as some of the others by this author...this is one that would be cute for the first couple of times to read and then would be discarded by the wayside as interest waned...cute pictures and cute ideas, but not one that would be a favourite...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Delaney on January 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is ADORABLE. I bought it for my 2 1/2 year old and loved it so much that I got it as gifts for to other friend's kids. Very clever story that your child will love and you wont get sick of reading!
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