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Monday, August 19, 2013

how to, written and illustrated by Julie Morstad. Simply Read Books, Raincoast. 2013. $18.95 ages 4 and up

"how to go fast

how to go slow

how to see the wind

how to
feel the breeze"

When you are a child, you don't have to think long and hard about how you might do what is there for you to do. Kids know how to use their imaginations without holding back. Julie Morstad is an incomparable 'kidwatcher'. She must be. Otherwise, she would never be able to create the stunning and wonderful books that she does. If you haven't seen them, please do yourself (and your family) a favor and check for them at the library or in your local bookstore. They are a revelation!

how to is not your typical book to explain how things might be done. Oh, is not! It is an utterly ingenious and immediate response to asking a child how to do something special. The premise is so simple, the response so unexpected for most of us. There is joy in each of the invitations.

Every illustration tempts the reader to linger. The children appeal with their gentle demeanour, their bright clothing, their joy in the world. The 'how to' encourages us to think beyond what we see on the page, and share our thoughts. Young readers will be interested in those chosen to be shown. The children pictured are absorbed in what they are doing, evidence that this is serious work for them. You will giggle with them, rest quietly, and occasionally feel a tear at the corner of your eye, while always being keen to turn the page to see the new wonder that is there for you.

how to encourages those who share it to enjoy each moment of the day. This is a very special book; you need to find a copy and see for yourself!

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