TULIP AND DOUG: A Spud-tacular Friendship Story
By Emma Wood (author) and Carla Martell (illustrator)
Scholastic New Zealand 2020
Picture book for ages 3-8
Themes: friendship, imagination, loss
Setting: home and the great outdoors
The story begins-
Tulip was famous in her neighborhood, for two reasons:
- She was a fearless adventurer.
- She went everywhere with a seriously strange sidekick.
What? Yes, Tulip hangs out with a potato and the potato has a name. Doug.
Tulip obviously has strong feelings for Doug. She gives him a face, a stroller, and his own bed.
Tulip doesn’t pay any attention when kids laugh. She and Doug are too busy having fun. But Doug changes as potatoes tend to do. Her father even suggests that he may soon need to travel to the compost bin.
Then, one fateful day, Tulip trips, and Doug flies. Sadly, he’s nowhere to be found and Tulip is heartbroken. Then in a lovely twist, Tulip meets a boy with his own unusual playmate.
Why you need to add TULIP AND DOUG: A Spud-tacular Friendship Story to your bookshelf:
- This wonderful, quirky book is full of heart with love, loss, imagination, and friendship.
- Self-assured Tulip uses her creative imagination as she plans grand adventures with her spud bud.
- This is a lovely read-aloud with a tender ending which elicits a “read it again” response from children.
- The whimsical art is fun with its bright and happy use of color. Though the illustrator uses simple lines, the characters are lively and expressive.
- The author and illustrator have created a book that is both unusual and universal. It is filled with the big emotions that all children feel and the ending is so very satisfying.
I don’t think it is odd at all to have a potato friend. This book brought to mind Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. Did you play with them? When I was very young, we actually had pieces that could be inserted into an actual potato! (or orange, cucumber, carrot, or whatever was around).
Now is a perfect time to watch a potato grow in your window sill. Click here for instructions.