Book Cover

One potato, two potato, three
potato, four. Five potato, six potato, seven potato, more—more potato puns than
you can count, as a young spud strives to win the sack race at the Spud City
Festival.

After training all year to win the Golden Bushel Award, Chip learns he must
beat Curly, the new spud in town. From pre-race to finish, Breisacher and
Heinsz use their setup to share verbal and brightly colored visual puns that
children will enjoy. The race begins at the corner of Russet Boulevard and Fry Avenue.
Couch potatoes—resting on a couch, of course—line the race route. The
Waffle Fries can’t decide whom to root on. First Chip is in the lead. Then
Curly speeds past. After Curly trips, the way is clear for Chip to win. Instead
he offers Curly a hand up, and they race toward the finish line together. Chip
doesn’t win, but he gains a friend, and Chip and Curly team up for the relay.
Maybe that coveted Golden Bushel Award is within reach after all. All
characters are potatoes illustrated in a range of (potato-y) skin tones.
However, both Chip and Curly are male, and only the Sweet Potato cheerleaders
are explicitly coded as female (with pink skirts and pompoms). The book’s
raison d’être is the wordplay, with Home Fries, Tater Tots, and Twice Bakes
joining the cast of characters and a spud-centric attitude toward verbs: These
taters “wedge,” “whip,” “hash,” “pancake,” and “peel,” all leading up to the
moment when “Chip’s dreams of winning [are] mashed.”

For children who appreciate clever
and silly puns (Picture book. 4-8)

kirkusreviews.com

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