Mr Crum’s Potato Predicament

  • Intended audience: 5-8 year olds
  • Number of pages: 40
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press
  • Amazon

George Crum loved to cook.

He fricasséed and flambéed, boiled and braised, poached and puréed.
He made sorbets and soufflés, stews and succotashes, ragouts and goulashes.

George cooked to his heart‘s content and his customers devoured his concoctions. Many considered him to be the best cook in the county.

That is, until one day, when in walked a peculiar-looking patron…


An inspired prank becomes a scrumptious snack! Legend has it that in Saratoga Springs, New York, during the 1850s, a chef named George Crum came up with a flavorful invention that we still devour today. Gently humorous text and vivid, memorable pictures combine nicely to tell Crum’s story; he loved to cook, and his loyal customers came from across the social strata and were always more than satisfied…until the day that a particularly demanding white patron, Filbert P. Horsefeathers (“The P stands for Punctilious”), returned one plate of potatoes after another. “Still too thick, still bland—and undercooked,” Horsefeathers complained after sending his food back a couple of times. George decided to play a prank on the picky patron and served up a plate of crispy, paper-thin, very salty spuds. To George’s shock, Horsefeathers loved his concoction, so did everyone else, and Crum’s Crisp Crispies (aka potato chips) were born. An author’s note includes pictures of George, provides some biographical information, identifies him as “of Native American and African American descent,” and explains that while George may not have been the originator of the potato chip, he was renowned for his version and was certainly one of the first to cook up the mouthwatering treat. Hyperbole and history are a recipe for fun in this tasty trickster tale. (sources) (Picture book. 5-8)

Kirkus Review , May 2017