Potato Joe

Keith Baker, Author . Harcourt $16 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-206230-9

This book gets sillier and sillier without ever forsaking its low-key cool, and that's no small potatoes. Readers may think they're in for a rehash of the classic counting rhyme “One potato, two potato, three potato four.” But Potato Joe and his fellow spuds quickly prove that theirs is no meat-and-potatoes affair; in fact, if it can rhyme with potato, they're all over it: playing tic-tac-toe, spotting a big black crow, holding a rodeo, flirting with saucy Tomato Flo. Baker (Big Fat Hen ) doesn't give himself much to work with: his characters are essentially a collection of velvety brown ovals with the simplest of faces, and all the action takes place on a strip of dirt and is framed straight on (readers are asked to tilt the book sideways when the potatoes create a towering pile-up). But only someone with cold sour cream running through his veins could resist turning the page to see what rhyme and activity are served up next. Ages 3–7. (June)

Reviewed on: 06/16/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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