The Potato King

By Christoph Niemann

From 3 to 7 | 32 pages

Once upon a time there was a Prussian King, Frederick, also known as Fritz, who saw potential in the lowly potato — a newly introduced crop from South America — and decided to plant it for his people. However, it quickly became clear that his subjects didn’t like being told what to eat.

Determined to see the potato thrive, Fritz cleverly used reverse psychology to pique his people’s curiosity and make the crop popular, and the potato has flourished ever since.

Potato-stamp illustrations throughout are simple and effective, exhibiting Neimann’s trademark wit and playfulness. The book includes a short informational note on the historical background to the story. Readers will be interested to discover how one of today’s most common foods likely rose to popularity and may also be inspired by the king’s creative problem solving.
"Niemann tells the tale with wonderful economy and, of course, delightful potato-print art." - The New York Times
"A bushel of laughs...the retelling sparkles." - Publisher's Weekly- STARRED REVIEW
"Witty and provocative, the tale provides food for thought in behavior management and governance as well as a great story." - Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"This German import is both entertaining and informative." - Booklist
"...utterly delightful... It would be great for a storytelling program, as well as a creative jump-start for a potato-print craft program for older readers...belongs in every collection." - School Library Journal
"Kids will enjoy the charm of Niemann's story, charmingly illustrated with potato prints." - School Library Journal
"This deceptively simple and terrifically entertaining book is unlike any other book you've seen this year." - The National Post
"A book a child and an adult can read again and again and enjoy every time." - Canadian Review of Materials
A Junior Library Guild selection, 2015
Kirkus Best of 2015 Selection,
The Huffington Post's Best Picture Books Of 2015, 2015
Pennsylvania Center for the Book's A Baker's Dozen: The Best Children's Books for Family Literacy selection, 2016

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