Tuesday, July 30, 2019

"The Couch Potato" - a bookwrap


The Couch Potato

Authored by Kerry Lyn Sparrow
Illustrated by Yinfan Huang 

* Age Range:  4-7
* Grade Level: PS-2
* Hardcover:  32 pages
* Publisher:  Kids Can Press
* Pub. Date:  September 3, 2019
* Language:  English

Unwrapping some fun illustrations for you to enjoy

Unveiling the book 

I love that the main character's last name is the name of a type of  Idaho potato.... Russet.... Mr. Russet to us.   It's not weird then that he is the first one to spot a random potato parked on his couch in the living room when he is doing his morning-time clean up.

Mr. Russet is a stay-at-home dad. His wife has gone to work and his kids are off to school so now it's his job to straighten up the house and get things in order for the day.  But come on... a potato on the couch?  Who is responsible for that uninvited guest? That's way too weird and the last straw for him.  Mr. Russet is very annoyed and he will not remove it. No way.  He's had it with the messiness around their home and the uncaring attitudes of not taking responsibility to help tidy up so that stupid old potato can just stay there.  And stay there it does.  

Mr. Russet stages a protest and goes on strike.   He decides that it can stay there forever for all he cares. But, in fact, he does care. He cares so much that it starts affecting his mental well-being and his physical appearance.  He becomes obsessed with that ridiculous potato intruder.  The rest of the family seems oblivious to it being there but Mr. Russet can't let it go.  He cooks up a perfect plan to deal with his unwanted potato squatter and get rid of it forever. 

This is a fun read aloud and the simple, short text makes for a quirky, silly story that kids will love.  The illustrations are colourful and full of humour.  I would use this book to discuss the dynamics of a family.  It is a wonderful tool to talk about roles in a family, responsibilities, communication and respect for one another's feelings and actions.  The book can be used to discuss such topics as adaptability and tolerance.  I like the book and I recommend it.  

Storywraps Rating:  5 HUGS!!!!!

Meet the author

Kerry is an elementary school teacher who lives on a farm in Antrim (blink and you'll miss it!) in the Ottawa Valley with her husband, Neil, their two young boys, Robert and Ole, and their dog, Lily. A city girl most of her life, she has grown to love muddy creeks, rogue cows and, yes, even John Deere tractors.
Sleep, Sheep! is Kerry's first published book. She wrote the first draft of it in 2011, when she was teaching an amazing group of grade-four students in Arnprior. The class, teacher included, would write for ten minutes a day about whatever topic inspired them in whichever form they chose. Between the poems, letters and newscasts the students came up with each day, Sleep, Sheep! was born.

Kerry's mom was the first to read Sleep, Sheep!, shortly before she passed away in 2014. Inspired by her mom's faith in her ability as a writer, Kerry decided to submit her manuscript to a publisher. On a cold winter day, ice-skating with the kids in the barn (yes, the barn!), she got an email from Kids Can Press that began a new adventure for her as a published author.

About the illustrator

Yinfan Huang lives in New York City, where she creates editorial illustrations, pens her own comics and crafts handmade ceramics. The Couch Potato is her first English-language picture book.

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