Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament

Anne Renaud
Felicita Sala

When Filbert P. Horsefeathers walks into George Crum's restaurant, he tells the waitress, “I have a hankering for a heaping helping of potatoes.” Fine cook that he is, George prepares a serving of his most scrumptious, succulent and sublime potato wedges, only to have Filbert send them back. “Too thick,” he says. So, George makes thinner wedges. But his picky customer sends them back again. And again. Feeling a bit mischievous, George decides to use his sharpest knife to cut paper-thin potato slices, which he fries until they are crackling and then showers with salt. At last, Filbert is satisfied, proclaiming, “Perfection!” Which they are. Because, quite by accident, George Crum has invented potato chips!

This fictional picture book tale by Anne Renaud is based on a real man named George Crum, a cook in Saratoga Springs, New York, in the 1850s, who is purported to have created the first potato chip in response to a demanding customer. Included at the back of the book is a historical note with a list of sources describing the legend and the remarkable and inspiring story of Crum, a trapper of mixed Native American and African American descent, who supplied restaurants with fresh game, then became a chef and successful restauranteur himself. Felicita Sala's gorgeous illustrations accurately portray the historical period but with a lighthearted touch. They work beautifully with Renaud's playful language and quirky characters for a lively and deliciously fun read-aloud. This book is an excellent choice for lessons on inventions and inventors, history, or why we eat the foods we do.

978-1-77138-619-7 | Sep 5, 2017
List Price: USD $17.99, CAD $18.99
4-color 9 x 10 40 pages
Grades: Pre-K To 3 / Ages: 4 to 8
978-1-77138-948-8 | Sep 5, 2017
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Educational Resources

Adult Directed

Awards & Reviews

“Hyperbole and history are a recipe for fun in this tasty trickster tale.”
— Kirkus Reviews, May 2017
“The story begs to be read aloud so that listeners can savor the sound of the luscious language ...”
— School Library Journal, August 2017
“... wildly entertaining ...”
— The Globe and Mail, September 2017
“... undeniably 'delectable and delicious!'”
— Montreal Review of Books, November 2017
“... a must-read among young children and adults alike.”
— CM Magazine, October 2017
2019 - Funniest Children's Book Award, Joan Betty Stuchner --- Oy Vey!, Short-listed
2018 - Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College, Winner
2018 - Best Books for Kids & Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2018 - The QWF Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature, Quebec Writers' Federation, Winner
2017 - OLA Best Bets, Ontario Library Association, Winner

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