The Potato King

tr. from German. illus. by Christoph Niemann. 32p. Owlkids. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771471398.
K-Gr 2—An utterly delightful telling of how Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, introduced the potato to his subjects in the 1700s. Fanciful potato prints illustrate King Fritz who had the idea, the soldiers pretending to guard the strange new plants, and the villagers whose curiosity was so aroused by such security that they stole the food they had at first rejected—just as the monarch planned. The characters in this saga—king, villagers, soldiers, horses, plants—are green, blue, red, potato print silhouettes, and each page features the star of the story, a full-color photograph of a potato. Although this is admittedly an unusual choice for a picture book, it would be great for a storytelling program, as well as a creative jump-start for a potato-print craft program for older readers.
VERDICT This story of the acceptance of the South American staple and the beginning of its rise to the fourth-largest food crop in the world belongs in most collections.

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