4 out of 4 stars
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There’s something exciting going on in the kitchen at night. Len Foley’s Four Funny Potatoes! takes a peek at what really happens while the rest of the house is asleep. Produce, pastries and other food items are busy rehearsing and putting on a fantastic show. There’s singing, dancing, and some astounding acrobatics, but the highlight of the show features four hilarious spuds.
These potatoes have a great act, but unfortunately, one of their members has a slight problem: he’s not a potato! Benny, who is actually a banana, refuses to sing along with the other potatoes and brings the show to a grinding halt. The director, a loud and bossy green bean, is not at all pleased. However, Benny remains true to himself, sings his own song, and teaches children that being different is just fine.
Young children and readers of all ages will find this picture book entertaining and meaningful. Its message of acceptance is layered skillfully with humor. This combination creates a work that is not only a comic delight but also a source of significant truth. There is powerful sincerity as Benny proudly declares, “I am a banana!!! And I am one of a kind. I have my own shape, my own color, my own thoughts, my own mind.” Foley shows that each of us is unique and wonderful in our own way. We don’t need to follow the crowd but can stand tall and embrace who we are.
Foley’s drawings are amusing and creative. I love how he has used photos of fruits, veggies, and other foods and made them come alive with a vast collection of comical facial expressions. The effect is charming. My favorites are the cherry tomatoes and the various looks of terror they exhibit while being juggled. The bright and colorful text is balanced well with the artwork, and overall, the book is visually pleasing.
I found this picture book completely delightful and awarded it 4 out of 4 stars. There were no editing problems with the book. It does have a surprise ending that some may find alarming, but I found that it added to the comedic element. I found nothing to dislike in this book and would readily recommend it anyone young or old. It is especially suited for kids, ages 3-8. Its rhyming text and fun pictures make it work well as a read-aloud. This gives parents and children the opportunity to laugh together and then talk about being true to ourselves and accepting of others.
Four Funny Potatoes!
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