________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 12. . . .November 21, 2014


How To.

Julie Morstad.
Vancouver, BC: Simply Read Books, 2013.
36 pp., hardcover, $18.95.
ISBN 978-1-897476-57-4.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Gwen Smid.

**** /4



how to go fast
how to go slow
how to see the wind


This highly acclaimed picture book – including a 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Illustration finalist accolade –is beautiful in its perfect simplicity. Each page has very few words, but the text (with no capitals and no punctuation) is partnered with illustrations that are a veritable feast of childhood activity. “how to feel the breeze” mirrors a page with a young boy in a smart blue Icelandic sweater riding down a grassy hill on an old-fashioned red bicycle. “how to wash your face” depicts a girl in a yellow raincoat and black galoshes holding her face up to the rainy sky. Feel the rain pitter-patter on your own face if you but close your eyes.

internal art     Morstad’s illustrations are stunning because she utterly grasps childhood wonder. For example, the “how to disappear” page shows only a pair of striped socks poking out beneath a red patterned curtain, and readers will need to take a second glance at the “how to feel faraway” page in order to see the daydreamer tucked high up in the tree’s branches.

      Readers of all ages will especially delight in the final two pages where Morstad teaches readers “how to be…” [turn the page!] “happy” as dozens of beautifully dressed children dance and cartwheel and hop and summersault to the book’s “the end”.

Highly Recommended.

Gwen Smid is a teacher, a writer, and a very good summersaulter in Ottawa, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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