Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament by Anne Renaud & Felicita Sala

We are warned in the endpapers. 
"The story you are about to savor is a fictional tale with a helping of truth."
It sets the tone for the rest of this delectable reading adventure. 

Mr George Crum really was a renowned chef of mixed Native American and African American descent. Before he started cooking he had many other adventures, but those are not included in this book. 

He owned a famous restaurant where people came from far away to taste his inventive "sorbets, souffles, stews, succotashes, ragouts, and goulashes." He introduced them to all kinds of strange delicacies. 

Then came the day Filbert P. Horsefeathers, a peculiarly dressed man, came into the cafe and ordered, "Just potatoes."

George tried feeding him potato wedges fried in lard, but the customer sent them back. George then fried potatoes with thinner wedges. Again the man declined them. 

Eventually George created the perfect potato chip that satisfied the "finicky, persnickety Filbert Punctilious Horsefeathers."

George Crum was known to have a playful sense of humour, and the illustrations in this book capture this spirit delightfully. 

I love the luscious language. I've given you a hint earlier on as to the alliteration, but the interjections used by Gladys, the waitress, are just as priceless:

Well, huckleberry biscuits!
Well, flying flapjacks!

I urge readers to search out the definition of horsefeathers and other words in the book. Never will using a dictionary be so much fun!

The book begs to be read outloud. The reader will have as much fun, if not more, as the listeners. 

The backmatter contains additional (and authentic) information about this remarkable person. I hope the book inspires young readers to learn more about him. It did me. That's how I learned all about what he did before he took to cooking!


  1. That book is ... just too CRISPY :)

  2. I too delved a little deeper when I wrote my little poem. He does seem to have had a lot of personality!