cover image Potato Man

Potato Man

Megan McDonald, M. McDonald. Scholastic, $15.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-05914-2

When the Potato Man came to East Street, a white-haired man tells his wide-eyed grandchildren, bad luck came with him. Back then, the narrator was a boy in knee pants and the street, with its endless stream of hucksters, was an exciting place. But then the one-eyed, lumpy-faced old Potato Man arrived, scaring the girls and prompting taunts from the boys. Three times the Potato Man caught the narrator making mischief, and three times the boy wound up with extra chores at home. Finally, ``I figured three times bad luck was enough for me,'' the narrator relates, and on the first day of winter the boy finds a way to make peace with the Potato Man. McDonald ( Is This a House for Hermit Crab? ) and Lewin ( Tiger Trek ) have created a lovely, evocative period piece. The artist's horse-drawn wagons, rugged faces and turn-of-the-century kitchen are perfectly matched by the gentle homespun writing style. Like the narrator's grandchildren, who beg him to ``tell us another one about when you were a boy,'' readers will eagerly await more from this team. Ages 4-7. (Mar.)