Rot, the Bravest in the World!

Atheneum. May 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781481467643.
PreS-Gr 2–Rot the potato is a protagonist who, like many young children, is both grimy and adorable. He and his mutant potato pals eat mud, play with mud, and sleep in mud. However, when Rot finds the messiest mud pit he’s ever seen, his brother, Snot, teases him with a rumor about a scary monster that lives in the mud: the squirm. Rot channels his bravery by putting on a heroic costume before he ventures into the mud. Clanton uses colored pencils and potato stamps for the illustrations, creating spuds that are packed with personality. The book’s narration is in monospace font while the humorous dialogue looks handwritten inside of colorful word bubbles. The smart mix of text types makes the story easy to follow; challenging vocabulary words like magnificent and slippery stand out in a larger font. By the end of the story, Rot turns the tables on Snot with a good-natured and funny prank.
VERDICT Recommended for purchase. Rot and his brother may be small potatoes, but they share a heartwarming story about bravery and brotherly love.

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