3 out of 4 stars
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Four Funny Potatoes! by Len Foley
This is a picture storybook for children between the ages of 3 and 5. It is about four friends who sleep during the day but put up a show at night. They are Arnie who loves to dance, Jimmy who wears funny pants, Marvin who juggles tomatoes and Benny who's actually a banana (and always say so but nobody pays attention). They are part of a cast that includes the sandwich, egg heads, jelly bean, grapes, and watermelon, with the string bean as the director. These characters put up a show at night, with each displaying its talents.
The book starts with the introduction of each character and the main show begins when the potatoes sing the popular potato song, which is soon interrupted by Benny insisting that he's not a potato. He explains why using its physical attributes such as colour, body shape, and head. It then goes ahead with its own banana song, with a sing-along.
I like Four Funny Potatoes because of the lessons incorporated into the story. First Benny makes a case for why it should not be a potato, referencing its colour and shape. The lesson here is to celebrate oneself, an aspect that adults could emphasise to children. Also, Foley portrays Benny as a team player when it admitted that it likes to sing when others sing along. I especially like the fact that the story is short and funny, the songs are easy and engaging for both children and adult to sing along.
The author's use of different colours colours such as blue, pink, yellow, green, black in the illustrations and writings will make the book a favourite with children. The rhymes and volume of 28 pages are short enough to hold the attention of children for a considerable time frame. The characters are lively and fun. However the ending is a bit sad, I wish it was otherwise as most children's books end on a good note.
I will rate this book 3 out of 4, I did not notice any grammatical or spelling error. There is however an inconsistency in the use of quotations marks, they were only used in the songs and not the conversations of the vegetables. I will recommend it for toddlers and preschool children, it will also make for a good bedtime story.
Four Funny Potatoes!
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