Archive | June 30, 2017

How To


Written and Illustrated by Julie Morstad

Simply Read Books, 2013

How to go fast

There are lots of ways to go fast, such as running or riding a scooter, and some ways to go slow, such as lying in the grass to look at butterflies. You can see the wind by flying kites and feel the breeze by going downhill on a bike. By crossing your feet together in the bathtub, you can be a mermaid and by banging on pots and pans, you can make music. There are many ways to make both sandwiches and friends. There are innovative ways to do things, such as looking at your shadow to see where you’re going or braiding your hair with someone else’s to stay close to them. And by doing all of these (and lots of other) things, you are showing yourself how to be happy.

Wash your face

And the ingredients in this face wash are all natural!

I was really intrigued by the title of this book, since it is so vague and open-ended. Even with no real expectations, I was surprised and delighted with this one. Author/illustrator Julie Morstad offers no real plot here. It’s just a collection of illustrations of children, demonstrating ways to do lots of different things, which doesn’t sound as compelling as it actually is. What makes it interesting is that some of the things are pretty straight forward, while others take an unusual approach to the activity. The way, for instance, that the kids here ‘wash their socks’ is to splash their socked feet in a rain puddle. And the way to ‘make a sandwich’ involves sofa cushions and other children stacked together. The artwork has a soft and beautiful vintage look and the children have wistful and focused expressions, as though they were considering the importance of their images. The ending page shows more free movement and conveys a quiet joy. It’s both silly and thought provoking and that takes some doing. And based on its title alone, a great way to close out our ‘How To’ month.

And what did we learn?  What I take away from this book is that there are multiple ways to do just about anything and to be happiest, find the one that works for you.