Every year, I find that the holiday season seems to creep up on me faster each year. I want to slow down and savor the moments, and the amazing food! I am now home after a week long Northern California road trip up to Santa Cruz, a trip we make every year to feast and celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. With the delicious meal fresh in my memory, I couldn’t help but pick up Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament for this month’s blog post.
Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament is a fun fictional picture book, written by Anne Renaud and illustrated by Felicita Sala, based on the real cook, George Crum, who is believed to have made the first potato chip for a very finicky customer.
Renaud’s expressive text, the cracking and snapping of the crispy potato chip will create a craving for the tasty snack. Sala’s detailed illustrations of Mr. Crum’s kitchen and her delightful characters captured in the energy of the restaurant really stir up an appetite!
In keeping with the theme of real life people in picture books, I also chose to showcase The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse, written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Hadley Cooper.
A picture book told in only a couple of lyrical sentences weaving throughout the book, The Iridescence of Birds beautifully portrays the inspiration for the famous artist’s work, beginning with a boy’s introduction to color and patterns to brighten up his dreary childhood home in a gray town in Northern France.
The illustrations, created with a “combination of relief printmaking and digital techniques”, not only bring focus to young Matisse’s world full of color, but also closely resembles the artist’s own stylistic form of expression. The young boy’s view and the grown artist’s work in the end ties together beautifully to show the connection of inspiration throughout the artist’s life.
I hope you check out these picture books, and enjoy learning a little bit more about a couple of real-life interesting characters. I also hope you have a chance to slow down and enjoy this season amid the whirlwind of the holidays!
Sarah Momo Romero is a Japanese Peruvian American artist, a graphic designer by day and children's book author and illustrator by night. She’s loved drawing and painting since she was a chiquita and now crafts stories of adventure and wondrous creatures. Sarah is an active SCBWI member who draws inspiration from her life in sunny Los Angeles with her husband/creative partner and dog/infamous escape artist, Peanut. Her debut picture book, "Wake Up, Little Bat!" is out now!
You can find more of Sarah's musings and drawings here:Sarah Momo Romero + Instagram: @sarahmomoromero + Twitter: @sarahmomoromero