From the Studio
By Anita Lobel
Once, many years ago, I wrote and made pictures for a book called Potatoes, Potatoes. The book was really about war, but potatoes were very important. Potatoes, Potatoes has been translated into many other languages. Here is the cover for the original version published in 1967.
Here it is in Greek . . .
and in Chinese.
Last year I bought a potato at the supermarket. It had an interesting shape. I made some drawings of it. . . .
I watched it age . . . then made some more drawings.
Then I cut it up and put it in the ground.
It was early summer. I didn’t really think that anything would grow from that withered, about-to-rot, old potato. But, soon a nice plant with green leaves and little purple flowers grew. In early fall, still not expecting much of anything I decided to dig. This is what my old potato had given birth to.
We ate most of the baby potatoes. They were delicious.
I kept some to make more drawings.
And they too got old.
Soon they will be put in the ground. I wonder what will happen this year.
Anita Lobel will be delivering the Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Chicago Public Library tomorrow at 7:30 P.M. She has been writing and illustrating distinguished books for more than thirty years. Her critically acclaimed titles include Hello, Day!; One Lighthouse, One Moon; and Alison’s Zinnia. She received a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in On Market Street, and her memoir No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War was one of five finalists for a National Book Award. She lives in New York City.