Little Sweet Potato

September 2012. 32p. 978-0-06180-043-7. 16.99.
PreS-Gr 1–Little Sweet Potato’s search for a place to belong begins when he is accidentally ejected onto the road from his garden patch. Rolling from field to field, he is repeatedly rejected for his lumpy, bumpy, dumpy exterior by the carrots, eggplants, flowers, and so on, who are all thoroughly unpleasant. “He didn’t know the world had such mean vegetation in it.” He is completely dispirited when he hears a voice calling to him and saying very nice things. Soon the happy Little Sweet Potato finds himself in the Hodge-Podge Patch, which is filled with friendly and welcoming vegetables and flowers. As one of the pansies tells him, “Some just like their own kind...but we’re the kind that likes all kinds.” Bloom’s text is clever and fun to read while getting her point across, and the dialogue is especially spot-on. Jones’s amusing illustrations are filled with great expressions and cartoony goodness. The text is well integrated with the pictures in a layout that works well for one-on-one or group sharing. This simple story of rejection and acceptance will resonate with kids.–Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH

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