#PPBF: Chopsticks – Fostering Creativity and Self-Reliance

Today is Friday – I have a children’s book review to add to the Perfect Picture Book resource list that author Susanna Leonard Hill is building on her blog. For more wonderful reviews from authors, educators and others who contributed today, please go here.



Written by Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrated by Scott Magoon

Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books (2012)

Ages: 4 and up


Learning to be independent, friendship

Opening Lines:

“Perhaps you’ve met Chopsticks? They’ve been best friends for…forever. They go everywhere together. They do everything together. They’re practically attached at the hip.”


From Amazon: “Meet Chopsticks! They’ve been best friends forever. But one day, this inseparable pair comes to a fork in the road. And for the very first time, they have to figure out how to function apart. From New York Times best-selling author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and rising artistic talent Scott Magoon, this witty and inventive tale celebrates both independence and the unbreakable bonds of friendship.”

Why  I like this book:

  • This is a hilariously funny story for the adult reader…but also for the young child. That is a hard balance to achieve.
  • Wonderful message about friendship and learning to ‘stand on one’s own two feet’ and discovering the endless possibilities of what life has to offer for each one of us.

How a parent can use this book:

  • Opportunity for discussion about what it means to be a friend
  •  Encourage creative thinking – pick any household item and ask child what it is used for and what else could be done with it
  • Opportunity for discussion about learning to do things on our own AND trying to do new and different things.
  • There are lots of reading readiness games you can play with chopsticks…write letters or sight words on small pieces of paper and fold the papers and put them in a bowl…each player takes turns picking out a paper and reading what it says. This activity also develops fine motor coordination.

Related Activities:

Chop sticks can be purchased at many grocery stores – if you cannot find them, ask at a local Chinese restaurant. They may have some for sale or even give you a set for free.


Photo courtesy of: http://www.veggienumnum.com/2010/06/miso-soup/

Then make this yummy miso soup (the recipe is one of 100 child-friendly recipes from Show Me How) so you and your child can experiment with using chopsticks. They are lots of fun, but call for a lot of patience.

You will need: 4 cups water, 1 cup corn kernels, ½ cup chopped green onion tops (scallions are great), ¼ cup dark miso, 1 Tb honey, 1 Tb sesame oil (subsitute canola oil if necessary), 1 sheet of nori seaweed torn into small pieces (substitute spinach or kale leaf), ¼ lb diced tofu and a large pot.

  1. Bring water to a boil, add corn and lower heat to simmer.
  2. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add other ingredients and heat.
  4. Makes 5 servings. You can use the chopsticks to eat the tofu and corn…what a challenge!!!

Did you get a chance to read the SEVENTY-NINE Halloween stories that were entered in Susanna Hill’s Halloweensie Contest? The votes are in and the winners have been announced!!

One more item: I’ve just signed up to participate in the Kid Lit Blog Hop Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza…please stay tuned for more info and a list of blogs you can visit to win prizes…the blog hop will take place Dec 6-13…check the button below.

44 thoughts on “#PPBF: Chopsticks – Fostering Creativity and Self-Reliance

  1. This book sounds really funny! Chopsticks joined at the hip and meeting a fork in the road!! I have been amused at times observing peoples use of chopsticks. Slurping works fine for me. i think I’ll be looking for this book. Thanks!


    • We took Jeremy to a Chinese restaurant a couple of months ago…they gave him child-friendly chopped sticks (joined at the top) and he LOVED eating with them. When I read the book to him last night and told him about the different activities we could do with the chopsticks, he wanted to play them right away.:) Glad you liked the book and activities, Stacy…I think Enzo would have fun…you could have folded papers of different colors and call out different colors and have him try to pick them up. 🙂 Or numbers, or letters or whatever you were working on teaching him at the moment.


  2. We loved the creativity in this book.. so many lessons and such wonderfully executed! Vivian you write such amazing reviews.. would love for you to share this on our bi-weekly Blog Hop.
    -Reshama @ Stackingbooks


    • Thank you so much, Reshama! I’m so glad you loved the book…my 5-year old grandson thought it was a blast! And he can’t wait to get home from school so we can do some of those chopstick activities. 🙂
      I’d love to join your bi-weekly Blog Hop…it’s lovely of you to invite me.:


    • Thanks so much, Miranda! I had so much fun in the children’s section of the library last night…the library itself is a lovely stone building, plunk in the center of Amherst Village…we just moved here and so I went in to meet the librarian (and give her a copy of my book for their parent/teacher resource shelf). My husband finally came to look for me and help me carry the huge stack of treasures I had found.:) Chopsticks was one of those. I loved it immediately!


    • Yup…it is a fun book, Jarm. What I loved so much about it was that, although many of the jokes are over the heads of little ones (aimed at the adult reading the story), it is a very child-friendly story…with so many of those play-on-words scenarios…so very clever. My grandson loved it!


  3. I love Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s out-of-the box stories. She turns the unusual into beautiful stories for kids. I haven’t read it yet, but I definitely will. Yes, I love the line “fork in the road.” Lots of fun!


  4. Great post, Vivian!
    When I moved my parents and cleaned out their house, we found a cloth in the back of the china hutch, and inside, wrapped in a cloth were 9 sets (and one spare) of ivory chopsticks!
    The grandchildren love using them, and the best way to get them to eat steamed broccoli is bring out the chopsticks!


    • What a treasure to find and cherish, Marylin! We had steamed broccoli last night…but did not use the chopsticks…maybe we should have.:) Thanks for the kind words about the post…I’m so glad I discovered the book at the library.:)


  5. lol, I ditto what Joanna said, I love eating with chopsticks for the same reason, also like Pat I enjoy Amy’s unique spin on the simplest of things. Great review, oh and I can smell that soup from here!


    • It’s hard to believe no one has reviewed it for PPBF before! Such a funny clever book…and my grandson really related to it because h has his own set of chopsticks that he uses when he eats rice…makes a meal into a party atmosphere.:


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