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BOOK REVIEWS

POTATO PANTS! by Laurie Keller….2021 SOTN Nominee

Full of emotion and clever, wacky language, Potato Pants is a fun, sweet story.

Potato wants to buy a pair of potato pants from Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants store, where they are on sale for one day and “once they’re gone, they’re gone.” Approaching the store, Potato sees that Eggplant is already there. (Yesterday Eggplant had roughly pushed him out of the way and into a trash can.) Potato is too nervous to go into the store while Eggplant is there. So he unsuccessfully tries a few other ideas to get himself a pair of potato pants. He is unsuccessful.With one pair left on the rack, he rushes into the store, inadvertently knocking Eggplant aside. He is too late; the last pair from the rack has just been sold.

Potato has a huge fit, after which he discovers Eggplant had only come to the store in hopes of apologizing to Potato for yesterday. They apologize to each other and Potato ends up being able to buy the pants on the window display mannequin.

Potato’s BIG feelings and the way he jumps to conclusions are easily accessible to young readers in their own experience. There’s lots of color, action and humor layered into the story in addition to springboards for discussions about feelings like fear, impulsive/rash actions, kindness, forgiveness and empathy.

I was thrilled to see this title show up on the MN Star of the North picture book nominee list for 2021. I would vote for this one…and I’m an adult (ostensibly)! I will be adding Potato Pants to my permanent shelf, as well as my list of picture books that make wonderful gifts for young readers!

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