For Zachary the rat, it seems that life couldn’t get any sweeter. Living under the floorboards of a bakery, he sleeps by day with the delicious aroma of pastries wafting into his secret hideaway, and at night, he sneaks up into the shop and has the pick of the sticky goodies. But there’s a downside. He always restricts himself to one pastry only as he doesn’t want to arouse the baker’s suspicions. And he never shares it with the other rats and would rather they left him alone, which they do. So chumless but content, Zachary’s life remains uneventful.

Then comes the fateful night he spots a sack of potatoes, samples one, decides potatoes would make a nice change from pastry and starts stashing them away one (or two) at a time. When his chums come to visit, he still won’t share any of his ever-growing hoard, and he takes no notice of their warning him about what happens when potatoes go bad. When the sack’s empty and the last of its contents are stowed under the floorboards, Zachary, who still believes potatoes last for years, thinks he’s set for life – until he wakes up one day to find that his potato passion, and his selfish greed, could well be his undoing…

Written in rhyme and sprinkled liberally with humour, Zachary and the Great Potato Catastrophe is a charming and quirky tale that’s great for reading aloud. Guilia Lombardo’s original illustrations really bring the characters to life, both human and animal. I particularly like one of Zachary’s twisty-whiskered pals! And there’s a delightful ending that shows that life is indeed sweeter when you share your good fortune with your chums.

Published by Junia Wonders.

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Marion Adams is a children’s author and poet. Her picture book Go To Sleep!, published by Full Media Ltd, won a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and a place on The Gittle List 2017. It was also awarded the prestigious Kirkus Star. She has won several prizes for poetry, and her future projects include a collection of poems for children.