Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Mouse and the Potato by Thomas Berger and Carla Grillis

The Mouse and the Potato, which is now out of print, was translated from German by Polly Lawson and was printed in Belgium in 1990 by Floris Books. This is a book about a potato, obviously and it makes for an unusual protagonist. It starts out with a little girl called Maggie deciding to plant a rather large potato with the mindset that is will produce more potatoes.  A plant appears and it grows prolifically, the problem is, when it comes to harvest time the gigantic plant won't budge. Maggie's father, a farmer, tries to uproot the plant, is shortly joined by his wife, then a farmhand, a milking maid and then Maggie; all to no avail. Then it's time for canine, felines and rodents to partake in the what is now proving to be a very challenging harvest. Well, I wonder  what could possibly happen? The farm horse even ends up with a job. A straightforward little plot with gentle water colour illustrations by Belgium illustrator Carla Grillis.   It is certainly a beautiful addition to my children book collection.

The harvest

The Dutch version

The German version

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