Monday, May 13, 2013

Children's Book Week - The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues

I've decided to recommend a book each day of Children's Book Week. I won't include a full review due to the demands on my time made by Short Story Month. So, my first recommendation is The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues (1975) by Ellen Raskin. This is a funny and clever book about what happens when an art student answers a help wanted ad for a painter's assistant in Greenwich Village. The painter is soon approached by the NYPD to assist them as a sketch artist and mystery and hilarity ensue, while simultaneously tackling big themes, such as identity, loss and the very meaning and value of art. Usually recommended for something now called "tweens," I think anyone from a precocious third-grader to a middle-aged book reviewer will adore you forever if you introduce them to The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues. My copy is a first edition hermetically sealed in plastic - that's how good it is. Enjoy!

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