They may seem like unlikely heroes, but in The Legend of Limpy and Lumpy a limp French fry and a lump of chunky mashed potato invite children to question standards of beauty. In an age when skinny, air-brushed celebrities are models of perfection, children face mounting challenges of identity and self-esteem. Enter two imperfect potatoes and one stellar tale for kids today.

The setting of The Legend of Limpy and Lumpy: Soul Spudsins is familiar to children and adults alike: a buffet line where French fries left a little too long go soggy, and hastily-made mashed potatoes have a few more lumps than most of us prefer. We aim for the freshly-made foodstuffs—thus the Spudsins’ dilemma. How will a limp fry and a lumpy mashed potato ever be chosen by hungry buffet browsers?

Their quest for a solution to their problem leads Limpy and Lumpy on a trek down the buffet line, where they seek advice from more appealing potato dishes. They’re told to look for answers in the media, but the Spudsins are left even more confused and despair for the way to make themselves more appealing.

Following a tip, the pair make their way back to the motherland, Ireland, where they are given the sort of treatment glorified in reality for its healing and beautification: a spa. Much to their surprise and delight, they emerge looking delicious. The Spudsins even enjoy fame thanks to their newfound good looks.

But can the foundation of true happiness be based solely in appearance? A superb twist ending provokes both thoughts and chuckles and sets the stage for further discussion. Williams-Sotelo provides a great way for parents to deal with the subjects of self-esteem and peer pressure about looking perfect, and what can happen when we let the media dictate attractiveness.

The book is wonderfully illustrated by Loeu Heng, bringing the story to life in appropriate and amusing ways. Limpy and Lumpy are both comical and adorable, making them cute characters kids will readily embrace. The illustrations are plentiful and thorough; no reader will lack any visual stimulus to match the unfolding tale.

Overall, The Legend of Limpy and Lumpy: Soul Spudsins is an entertaining and valuable read. I recommend it especially as an experience shared between parents and children, as the moral of the story is worthy of further exploration.

It is available through Amazon and BookSurge.

Publisher: BookSurge Publishing
ISBN: 1419653369
Ages: Pre-school

Dina Ely is a journalist, poet, and author of short fiction. Readers can contact her at dely723@yahoo.com

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