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how to by J. Morstad

Morstad, Julie. how to. Simply Read books, 2013. Print.

Anyone who is a fan of creative and lateral thinking will love this book. The simple text and illustrations evoke complex connections and imagination. The title gives away that it is a “how to…” book but the things to do and learn are not your usual “… make cookies” or “… build a birdhouse.” I love that the text problems are answered by text-less illustrations. For example, “how to make new friends” is answered by an image of a child making sidewalk chalk drawings of various creatures (including people) and “how to wash your socks” is accompanied by a group of children stomping in a puddle of clean-looking water. While a few “how to’s” are answered with several possibilities, most have only one. This might be considered a weakness or, on further reflection, the multiple-answer examples suggest a pattern so the reader will search for their own variations.

I’ll admit to some discomfort with the choice to make all the “how to” phrases unpunctuated and in lower case letters because I believe proper writing is learned through example. However, it is a tiny quibble about an inspirational book. I will be sure to feel the breeze and appreciate the face wash on my bike ride home in the rain.

Recommended:  4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: David Sulz

David is a Public Services Librarian at University of Alberta and liaison librarian to Economics, Religious Studies, and Social Work. He has university studies in Library Studies, History, Elementary Education, Japanese, and Economics;  he formerly taught in schools and museums. His interests include physical activity, music, home improvements, and above all, things Japanese.