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Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  88 reviews
When Filbert P. Horsefeathers walks into George Crum's restaurant, he tells the waitress, 'I have a hankering for a heaping helping of potatoes.' Fine cook that he is, George prepares a serving of his most scrumptious, succulent and sublime potato wedges, only to have Filbert send them back. 'Too thick,' he says. So, George makes thinner wedges. But his picky customer send ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Kids Can Press
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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4.5 stars. I really enjoyed this story set in 1853 of how Mr Crum, an African American chef and restaurant owner humoured a fussy customer who wanted his potatoes cooked thinner and thinner. Eventually peeling thin slices off a potato and frying them, his customer was happy and so was born the first crisp or potato chip.

The story was told with great humour, I really enjoyed the text and the illustrations are amazing. I'm a huge fan of Felicita Sala, she is so talented and particularly good at de
Carla Johnson-Hicks
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, netgalley
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and this story is another example. Have you ever wondered where the Potato chip came from? Mr. Crum was a real man who came up with this food item. This story is a fun fictional story based on George Crum.

Mr. Crum was a wonderful cook who was known far and wide as a wonderful cook. Everyone loved his food, that is until Filbert P. Horsefeathers came into his restaurant. He wanted an order of potatoes. Three times, Mr. Crum cooked him potatoes a
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
So, it was a little disappointing that this story is actually more speculation than fact. It honestly reminds me a bit more of a tall tale than a true biography. But, it's a really fun read and there is no denying that George Crum helped build the popularity of the potato chip even if he was not necessarily the very first to "invent" it.

Also, I must say this has a better Author's Note and Sources list than most picture book biographies I've encountered lately. (Love the photograph of the real G
La Coccinelle
This book is actually a bit of a historical biographical sketch. George Crum was a real cook who, in the 1850s, helped popularize potato chips as a snack after a persnickety customer kept sending back his potato wedges because they were too thick. So George made them as thin as possible... and the potato chip as we know it was born!

I actually found the story kind of refreshing. It's set in the USA in the 1850s, and George Crum is partly African American... but he's not a slave. In fact, he has h
Wayne McCoy
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
'Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament' by Ann Renaud with illustrations by Felicita Sala takes a story that may be more legend than fact and makes it a fun story for young readers.

When Filbert P. Horsefeathers walks into George Crum's restaurant, he only wants potatoes. When the potatoes he gets aren't right, he keeps sending them back until chef Crum invents a new thin, crunchy, salty snack: the potato chip!

In a great postscript to the story, we find out that there was a George Crum who is credited wi
**An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

Very cute picture book, with decent illustrations and a fun (and somewhat historical) story!
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars -- Fun and fanciful story imagines the invention of an instantly recognizable snack favorite--potato chips!

Veg*n parents note: The original potato chips were fried in lard (thank goodness this has, for the most part, been swapped for vegetable oil). There is also a joke menu featuring groundhog and opossum dishes and various references to meat and the cook's prowess in preparing it in the book's text and afterward. This could make for a good discussion topic about how food preferences
☘Tara Sheehan☘
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are richly done and befitting the time period the author used for her story which is a fictional take on a probable historical event. Whatever artistic license was used in both story and art work was done well and the diversity used in the customers was nice to see.

I had never heard of Mr. Crum or given much thought to how we have the modern potato chip so I appreciated not only how well the author has written a story that seems realistic but also provided the known and assumed
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for a review copy - all opinions are my own.

Great read aloud for elementary classrooms! Based on a true story of a persnickety customer and an inventive and talented chef, Mr. Crum's Potato Predicament explains the origins of the potato chip. The text is fast paced and full of juicy vocabulary. The illustrations are so well done and are perfect complements to the upbeat tone of the story. The author's note perfectly addresses the question I always get asked
Jessica Furtado
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This story was a lot of fun to read. Kids will enjoy learning how one of their favorite snack foods was accidentally invented by playful chef, George Crum. The illustrations are beautiful and the characters in the story come to life with Renaud's text. A brief history at the end allows readers to discover a little more about the man who is thought to have invented the world's favorite salty snack.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is another picture book, in a good series of picture books, that talks about a short, quick point in history, and makes it fun. In this case, it was the invention of the potato chip. Hard to believe it didn't exist before, but as this factionalized version of the story unfolds, we. Have Mr. Crum making potatoe wedges, that everyone loves, until this one customer kept saying they were too thick, and sending them back, until the potatoes were razor thin, and then he approved them.

It is clever
Beth Anderson
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Who doesn’t wonder where the potato chip idea came from?
Even the best cook in the county doesn’t always get it right the first time. But Mr. Crum doesn’t give up. Nope. When a persnickety customer drives him to the extreme, he ends up with the irresistible potato chip. It’s always fun to learn about inventions and innovations that resulted from mistakes or about people who just kept on trying. The text delights the tongue with sumptuous words, and illustrations tickle the senses. Enjoy!
Debra Schoenberger
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a deliciously, delightful story about one persnickity customer and a frustrated cook. The tongue-in-cheek humour as well as the luscious illustrations makes this a perfect read-together book.
Sabrina Kaye Fox
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a short story about how the potato chip came into play. It has adorable illustrations throughout the story that makes you want to continue reading.
I had no idea how the potato chip came into being until I read this so it's very informative in a easy to read way.
Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read and review this book.
I thoroughly enjoyed this "fictional tale with a helping of truth."
Mary Sanchez
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking, picture-book
A fun story that may or may not tell the true story of how potato chips were invented. This book could certainly be used as a model for children to write the history of other products.
Mireille Messier
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Hooray for the cheeky Mr. Crum and his demanding customer!
One of the best examples of the fictionalized biography picture book I've ever read!
Great story, great piece of history that kids will really relate to (show me the kid who doesn't consume vast quantities of chips every chance they get), nice illustrations. Really liked this one.
K.A. Wiggins
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to the author, illustrator, Kids Can Press & the Goodreads Giveaways program for a review copy of this book! This is possibly the first picture book I've reviewed on Goodreads and the tl;dr is that I'm super impressed, it's a great read for slightly older kids, and I look forward to my nephew getting old enough to appreciate it.

Not sure how people usually review picture books, but I'm gonna split this up into a few categories.

First off, the language use is lovely. Tight yet lyrical, integ
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Most people aren’t aware that it was a mixed-race inventor who came up with the potato chip, the most popular snack food item in America. The son of an African-American father and a Native American mother, George Crum was working as the chef of an elegant resort in Saratoga Springs, New York in the summer of 1853 when he incidentally invented the chip.

One of the dinner guests complained that Crum’s French fries were too thick and sent back the order. Crum, irritated, sent back a dish of fries so
Oh the many ways this clever book could be used! Elements of figurative language? Yep. Alliteration abounds in this tale of a tasty treat. Descriptive writing? Adjectives? Yep and yep. Synonyms? Certainly and assuredly. Genres? This story is introduced as a fictional account, but, with the biographical and historical information included at the end, this story could work nicely to encourage discussion of what makes something historical fiction vs. realistic or informative fiction and whether stu ...more
Debbie Smith
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book

Before reading the first word of this story it states, “The story you are about to saver is a fictional tale with a helping of truth.”

This fun story features George Crum. A person who loves to cook so much that he opens a restaurant. There he cooks to his heart’s content and his customers devour his wonderful food. Many even consider him to be the best book in the county. But one day Filbert P. Horsefeathers comes in and wants to or
You want thinner potatoes? I'll show YOU! I'll cut em so thin and fry em up and add salt and see what you think then, Mr Horsefeathers! This book is the story of the invention of potato chips, when a restaurant patron keeps saying his potatoes are undercooked, too thick, and too bland. Felicita Sala's illustrations are colorful and lively; Anne Renaud's story is cheeky and fun, with a sprinkling of Big Words that manage to sound kind of silly and very smart at the same time. At the end of the bo ...more
This is not recognized as non-fiction, but based on what is a story passed on in one part of the US, the story of the first potato chips, "Saratoga Chip". George Crum really did exist, was a chef at Moon's Lake House in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and legend tells that after a picky customer returned fried potatoes, "too thick and undercooked", George is said to have "sliced a potato paper-thin, fried them to a crisp and doused them with salt." In the backmatter, Anne Renaud writes that there are ear ...more
Becky Porter
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it
@kidscanpress #partner | 🥔 A legendary tale about a real famous chef who used to live and work in New York, MR. CRUM’S POTATO PREDICAMENT is bushels of fun! ⁣

While there is no evidence to prove that George Crum invented the potato chip, he certainly contributed to their popularity. The legend says that a picky eater at Crum’s restaurant kept sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen asking for them to be cut thinner. George Crum decided to make the potatoes paper thin, fry them, and pour s
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a hilarious and adorable story that is inspired on a true story of the man named George Crum who is believed to have invented the potato chip. When a man comes into the restaurant demanding a plate of just potatoes, Mr. Crum thinks that this will be an easy customer. Boy is he wrong. As he tries to figure out the perfect potato dish, he inadvertently creates one of North America's favorite snacks.  This is a very cute story and the illustrations are fantastic. The alliterations in the bo ...more
Kyra Nay
From the inscription, this "fictional tale with a helping of truth" tells the story of a finicky customer at George Crum's Saratoga Springs restaurant who kept sending his potatoes back to the kitchen, demanding thinner and more flavorful potatoes. Finally, a frustrated Chef George shaves a potato into thin slices, fries them in lard, and sprinkles them with salt. To everyone's surprise, the customer loves this batch of potatoes and the Saratoga Chip (now potato chip) is born.

Backmatter explain
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Renaud, Anne Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament. PICTURE BOOK. Illustrated by Felicita Sala. Kids Can, 2017. $18.

One of George’s customers has come in grumpy and demanding. His potatoes are much to thick and sloppy. In response to constant demands, George cuts the potatoes razor thin and fries them up. Not only does that customer love them, and so does everyone else. And thus is the most popular origin story for the potato chip born.

Whether for a unit on food, inventions, or African Americans, what a
Aug 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, listened-to
George Crum was a chef who may have been one of the first people to cook potato chips. It is said that he sliced potatoes wafer thin and fried them with lots of salt as a prank after a patron complained that his potatoes were too think and bland. This picture book imagines what that encounter may have been like. Whether or not the story is true, it is a fun story that shows that some great discoveries come by accident. I also love the beautiful illustrations.

I sought this book out after it was f
Hemdiva Dev
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
For kids who love food, fun, stories and potatoes!
George crum opens his restaurant 'Crum's Place' because he loves to cook.
His customers thought of him as the best cook in the country.
One a customer orders for potatoes, only potatoes!
Mr.Crum serves him potato wedges but that are sent back.
So he cuts the potato even thin but again the customer complains that it's too thick and bland.
When this happens for the third time, Mr.Crum with his playful nature comes up with an amazing idea!
And everyone ab
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Anne Renaud is a life-long Quebecker. She received her Bachelor of Translation from Concordia University in Montreal. Anne is the author of several picture books, as well as historical non-fiction books for children, including, A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival, Island of Hope and Sorrow: The Story of Grosse Île, Pier 21: Stories from Near and Far, and Into the Mist: ...more

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