The Table Sets Itself

( 1 )

Overview

Izzy is thrilled to finally help set the table, learning all the proper places for her friends Fork, Spoon, Dish, Napkin, Cup, and Knife. But once they get into a nightly groove, Izzy and her friends grow tired of their same old spots. Shaking things up doesn’t go over so well with Mom and Dad, so Spoon and Dish run off for an adventure of their own. Lonely without her favorite tablemates, Izzy will need to find a way to convince Spoon and Dish to come back to the table.

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The Table Sets Itself

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Overview

Izzy is thrilled to finally help set the table, learning all the proper places for her friends Fork, Spoon, Dish, Napkin, Cup, and Knife. But once they get into a nightly groove, Izzy and her friends grow tired of their same old spots. Shaking things up doesn’t go over so well with Mom and Dad, so Spoon and Dish run off for an adventure of their own. Lonely without her favorite tablemates, Izzy will need to find a way to convince Spoon and Dish to come back to the table.

Perfect for any kid who has ever resisted a daily task, this clever, pun-filled story is gentle reminder that every dish has its place, and that injecting some creativity into daily tasks can make even the dullest ones lots of fun.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
PreS-Gr 1—Clanton transforms a common household task into an adventure in this quirky story. Young Izzy is proud when Mom allows her to take on the responsibility of setting the dinner table. Each night, she instructs her anthropomorphic friends, Dish, Fork, Knife, Spoon, Cup, and Napkin, to take their appropriate spots, but soon the chore becomes tedious. Izzy's pals think that switching places at the table is "the best idea since macaroni and cheese," but the imaginative girl's parents don't agree. Unhappy with returning to their accustomed arrangement, Dish runs away with Spoon. Izzy and the others worry about the missing pair until they receive a series of letters from around the world. When the travelers finally return, they bring with them two new friends, a pair of chopsticks. The author sprinkles the text with silly jokes to make young readers giggle ("Did you hear that Pot boiled over? Yeah! He was really steamed.") and gives a sly nod to Mother Goose's beloved nursery rhyme. The pencil and watercolor illustrations in pastel shades contain comic-book elements and add more humor to the story. Izzy is a bright, likable character with her bobbed hair and rosy cheeks. Pair this book with Simon James's hilarious Baby Brains and RoboMom (Candlewick, 2008) to help youngsters learn about helping around the house.—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Publishers Weekly
08/12/2013
Bored with setting the table the same, proper way night after night, Izzy and her friends Dish, Fork, Knife, Spoon, Cup, and Napkin try to mix things up. Who says you can’t sit on the table and put all the tableware into a full milk cup? Their experiments fail miserably, although they do uncover the existence of spoon flatulence and, more importantly, bring Dish and Spoon together. Faster than anyone who’s read Mother Goose can say, “Called it,” the two run away together. Clanton (Vote for Me!) packs plenty more jokes, visual asides, puns, and wordplay (“Cup felt terribly empty inside”) into the action that ensues between the elopement to a happy reunion over a dinner of mac and cheese. Throughout, his crisp drawings and liberal use of white space keep a sense of comic excess at bay. Dish and Spoon’s letters from their travels, which arrive later in the book, are an especially funny evocation of innocents abroad, bringing to mind the naïf, anthropomorphic humor of Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Ages 4–8. Agent: Marietta Zacker, Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"[A] winning tale . . . full of energy and charm. Repetitious panels and a witty design make for one enjoyable journey." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

"Both the subject matter and the abundance of amusing puns hold obvious appeal for fans of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Spoon and Chopsticks." BCCB

 

"Talk about timely. For those poor kids whose TV rooms have been invaded by bickering presidential contenders comes this sarcastic (but painfully true) distillation of the nomination process. Obviously adults are going to get a kick out of this, but the Mo Willems-like presentation, clever coloring (when the candidates make up, the background becomes purple), and universal anti-arguing message will tickle future politicos, too." Booklist on Vote for Me!

Children's Literature - Tima Murrell
Izzy is finally allowed to set the table all by herself. She learns the proper place to put each of her friends. But after setting her friends in the same place every night for what seems like forever, she decides to change things a little bit. But Izzy’s parents are not thrilled with the new places and make everyone move back into their proper places. Dish and Spoon decide that they will run away instead of going back to boring. The rest of the story centers on Izzy and her friends missing Dish and Spoon and anticipating the mail every day. But eventually everything returns to normal and everyone is happy. Children will love the story filled with jokes, colorful illustrations, and creative writing. The plot is told from a child’s perspective and filled with whimsy and fun. The ending has a neat little twist that will have children laughing. Children will enjoy the story and learn more about table settings in the process. Reviewer: Tima Murrell; Ages 4 to 8.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-15
A young girl receives a new responsibility, but when the prized task becomes a boring duty, she and her tableware friends must find a way to keep things fresh and funny in this winning tale. Izzy and her anthropomorphized cutlery and crockery finally get to set the table themselves, but excitement wears thin after completing the chore a zillion times. To break the ennui, they try different arrangements to comical results. But when Dish runs away with Spoon, chaos, hunger and silly puns ensue. Letters home from the travelers boost the absurdity; references to the familiar nursery rhyme add still more fizz to the fun. After traveling the world, the two voyagers return home to a glorious macaroni-and-cheese dinner—until the Chopsticks stop by to stir things up. The author's amusing text is enhanced by simple illustrations full of energy and charm. Done in pencil and watercolor, his playful characters enliven the pages. Repetitious panels and a witty design make for one enjoyable journey. Clanton makes chores a delight! (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802734488
  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

BEN CLANTON loves a good adventure (especially those that happen in books). However, no matter where he goes (next door, Italy, or the Moon) Ben likes coming home best (hopefully to some macaroni and cheese). He is the author and illustrator of Vote for Me, and currently calls home Boston, Massachusetts, where he cooks up stories like this one.

www.benclanton.com

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Izzy is finally allowed to set the table all by herself. She le


    Izzy is finally allowed to set the table all by herself. She learns the proper place to put each of her friends. But after setting her friends in the same place every night for what seems like forever, she decides to change things a little bit. But Izzy's parents are not thrilled with the new places and make everyone move back into their proper places. Dish and Spoon decide that they will run away instead of going back to boring. The rest of the story centers around Izzy and her friends missing Dish and Spoon and anticipating the mail every day. But eventually everything returns to normal and everyone is happy.

    Children will love the story filled with jokes, colorful illustrations, and creative writing. The plot is told from a child's perspective and filled with whimsy and fun. The ending was a neat little twist that will have children laughing. Both of my children enjoyed the story and learned more about table settings in the process.

    I received this book free of charge from Children's Lit in exchange for my honest review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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