how to – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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how toTitle: how to

Written and illustrated by: Julie Morstad

Published by: Simply Read books, 2013

Themes/Topics: how to guide, imagination, whimsy, wonder

Literary awards: Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award (2014), Christie Harris Illustrated Children’s Literature Prize (2014)

Suitable for ages: 6-9


how to go fast


This imaginative ‘how to’ book explores both expected and whimsical ways of doing a host of different tasks, including, ‘how to see the breeze’, and ‘how to stay close’ and ‘how to make a sandwich.’

Why I like This Book:

I love the mix of straight-forward and whimsy, a terrific blend of how many of us think. The artwork int he solutions is gorgeous and full of wonder. the children shine and the use of white or extended dark space is poetic. How to wash your socks has children dancing in a puddle wearing socks and is a favorite of mine. How to make friends is the cover image of a child drawing people with chalk.

Morstad creates beautiful and elegant unusual books and this is no exception. The ideas in the book are all creative and will invite children to engage with the pages. It may not contain enough action for some children but I would still share it with a whole class even if it is the more whimsical kids who will linger longer over the pages.

Sometimes kids need reminders like adults of the importance of contemplation. Especially nowadays. That you feel the breeze by riding a bike, become a mermaid by lounging in the bathtub, wash your face in the rain. Why of course you do.



This book will lead inevitably to dialogue, and why not a series of the children’s own how to artwork?

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.

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22 Responses to how to – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Jennifer DuBose says:

    I cannot wait to read this book! You’ve enticed me with your own poetic writing about it. Lovely.

  2. Manju Howard says:

    I love the concept! I saw “how to” listed and thought it was a mistake. Turns out that’s the perfect title. Thanks!

  3. I love the type treatment on the cover too!

  4. Andrea Mack says:

    This would be wonderful to model “how-to” in a classroom. I’ll have to look for it.

  5. This book sounds like pure poetry. I love the illustration you shared as it gives you a real sense of the story. And, anything that inspires imagination, I love.

  6. This sounds like a jump-start for the imagination. Can’t wait to find a copy. Thank-you.

  7. I love the idea of children washing their socks in a puddle 🙂

  8. The perfect imagination sparker for kids…I think this would be great to use in the classroom or at home…or even on a car ride…it would keep them thinking. Thanks for featuring it, Joanna!
    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 🙂

  9. Your love for this book shows quite strongly through your praise. The illustrations are captivating with their bright colors and large open spaces. I’m adding this to my must-read list.

  10. Wendy Greenley says:

    Thanks for sharing the kite-flying spread. I could see/feel the wind through my computer!

  11. Straight-forward and whimsical in concert? I love it! Can’t wait to get ahold of this one.

  12. this looks like the perfect book for a kid who’s a dreamer – and maybe especially for that parent who has forgotten how…

  13. buying essay says:

    I just got a copy last weekend and in my opinion the illustrations were cleverly made. Julie Morstad’s art looks simple and minimalist at first glance, but each page conveys an intelligent idea how to view things differently.

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