Title: Rot, the Bravest in the World!
Author: Ben Clanton
Release Date: June 16, 2020
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Review Spoilers: Low
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Mutant potatoes, squelching mud, and sibling teasing take the forefront in Ben Clanton’s Rot, the Bravest in the World! Yes, you heard me right, mutant potatoes. If your kids like somewhat messy, somewhat absurd tales then they’ll love Rot’s newest adventure!

In Rot, the Bravest in the World! our intrepid little potato is out and about playing in his beloved mud when he discovers a brand new mud pit that he can’t want to jump into. But before he can his brother Snot warns him about THE SQUIRM. The Squirm lives in mud and loves to eat little potatoes apparently.

Suddenly Rot isn’t so sure about jumping into this pit.

But rather than give up on what he loves, Rot spends much of the book trying to build up his confidence to explore the mud pit. He envisions himself as the bravest in the world, taking on attributes of all of his favorite, heroic figures and characters. As he works to overcome his fears, Rot makes an unexpected new friend and learns how to deal with his older brother’s silly, scary fibs.

While your kids may not be mutant potatoes themselves, those with older siblings will definitely relate to Rot’s plight. They’ve undoubtedly been scared away from something – or just scared in general – by a story from their older siblings. And the way Rot deals with this revelation (and his revenge) will probably have kids laughing and remembering their own experiences.

Rot, the Bravest in the World! is a very muddy book in general. I love how Ben Clanton really makes his world feel dirty and mucky. Almost everything is colored in browns or greys making you feel right at home with Rot and Snot. There’s an over all ‘icky’ feel that kids who love mud and muck and mess will love.

It’s gross – in a good way!

The story is also some what comic-like which is something we always enjoy. There are lots word bubbles and some of the two-page spreads almost read like panels. Rot, the Bravest in the World has some great read-aloud potential and you’ll want to break out your silliest voices to bring to live the three characters that appeal throughout!

Don’t worry if you haven’t read the first Rot book. We didn’t even know abut Rot, the Cutest in the World! until long after we had read Rot, the Bravest in the World! and we had no problem getting into this one. This book stands on it’s own though I’m sure you’ll want to go check out the first book once you’re done!

Check out Rot, the Bravest in the World! and bring all kinds of muddy goodness to your next storytime.

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