Two Old Potatoes and Me

by John Coy and Carolyn Fisher

“Last spring at my dad’s house I found two old potatoes in the back of... read more

“Last spring at my dad’s house I found two old potatoes in the back of the cupboard. They were so old, sprouts were growing from their eyes.” And indeed, we see real three-dimensional sprouts growing from the abstracted brown shapes that represent the two rotten potatoes. Rather than throwing the potatoes out, the little girl and her father cut them into nine pieces and plant them in the sunniest spot in the garden. Throughout the summer, they watch the progress of their potato plants. We, too, can see them grow, as the artist, Carolyn Fisher, uses what appear to be real leaves on an airbrushed vine to illustrate the potato plants. Elsewhere, her artwork is flat and abstract, providing a clear contrast to the potato plants and other parts of the garden, such as the rocks and picket fence that are also illustrated with photo collage. The language is understated and poetic as it shows the warm and realistic relationship between a father and daughter who only see each other on weekends, skillfully using the garden as a symbol of growth, change, and nurturing. Honor Book, 2004 Charlotte Zolotow Award (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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