MaiStoryBook Library: Rot, The Cutest in the World + Potato Pal Craft

Introducing the *cutest book in the world* featured in this week’s MaiStoryBook Library Collection:

“Rot: The Cutest in the World” by Ben Clanton

Book Synopsis and Review

*Mutant Potatoes + Rot = …Cute????* Don’t let your eyes deceive you, *cuteness* is all relative in this adorable reading adventure! Meet Rot, a mutant potato who loves mud, checkers, eating, and *contests!* So when he sees the *cutest in the world contest* of course he has to enter! But can a mutant potato compete against a cuddly kitten, a teenie-weenie jellyfish, and an adorable baby bunny??? Join Rot as he discovers the secret to becoming the best *cutest* possible version of yourself you can be!

One popular, and very important, theme that is often portrayed in children’s books is to be proud of who you are. We all come in different, sizes, shapes, and colors, and we all have different personalities and traits that make us unique. This book “Rot,” shows us, in the *cutest* way possible, that we are most beautiful when we believe in ourselves. The fun alliterations and dialogue, colorful cast of characters, and humorous illustrations make this book an instant hit with the little ones ~ there will be guaranteed laughter and giggles!  So get ready for the cutest book in the world!

Vocabulary List

  • Mutant (p. 1) like a monster
  • Contestants (p. 7) someone who enters a contest
  • Bewitching (p. 9) making someone happy
  • Indigestion (p. 13) when your stomach hurts because you ate too much food and your tummy can’t break it down
  • Unibrow (p. 36) when your eyebrows meet in the middle so that it looks like you only have one long eyebrow *instead of 2 separate ones

Themes/Main ideas

  • You are Unique: We are all different and that is what makes us special.
  • Believe in Yourself: Don’t let what other people think about you bother you. Believe in yourself and you will always have the courage to do what you need to do.

YouTube Video: Guided Shared-Reading Read Aloud Example

Example of a shared-reading, interactive Read Aloud of “Rot: The Cutest in the World” – how to subtly introduce the vocabulary list words within the text, ask guided questions, and spark conversation!

*~Check it Out~*

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Potato Pals Craft

Ever played with Mr. Potato head as a kid?? Wasn’t he just the *cutest*? Well, Rot certainly is! With his earnest behavior and oblivious willingness to charm, he exudes cuteness. No wonder he won the *Cutest in the world* contest! As a child, I was definitely competitive. Ever played the board game *Sorry?* It isn’t called “the game of sweet revenge” for nothing! Monopoly was always a race to make the most money as fast as possible, and I was determined to find a strategy to win *Go Fish.* While I most likely would have stayed away from a *cuteness* contest~ not my kind of thing~ I can relate with Rot’s love for the thrill of the game! And once you begin, of course you want to try and be the best that you can. But as Rot learned, being the best self you can be, with no frills or concoctions, is sometimes all it takes to win *at the game of life.* So, if you’d like to bring a little competition to this week’s craft~ let’s see, who can make the *cutest* potato pal! Round up a family member(s) to be your judge, and create a parade of potato pals to participate in your very own *Cutest in the World* competition! Prepare for an afternoon of crazy colors and *cuteness* overload!


  • Potato (or chunk of modeling clay)
  • Paint (various colors)
  • Paintbrush
  • Cup of water (for rinsing brush)
  • Glitter
  • Puffy paint
  • Optional Decorations: Paper cutouts, googley eyes,  glitter glue, sequins


* Be creative! You can make your potato pal look however you imagine! Add decorations and parts in whichever order strikes you. The below directions are just suggestions.  (I recommend using the paint as glue)

  • Starting with the eyes, use white paint to draw eye circles. Paint on different sized eyeballs for creative effect. While the paint is still wet, stick on the googley eyes.
  • Paint on the mouth with a color of your choosing. Use the puffy paint to draw teeth and outline the lips.

  • Paint on a nose and whiskers with any color!
  • Add a unibrow with puffy paint.
  • Paint a patch of paint on the top of the head and sprinkle glitter on for shiny *hair*
  • Paint a patch of paint on the bottom and stick on paper shapes.
  • Use the paints and puffy paint to add any additional decorations!

Enjoy Your Potato Pal Craft!

  • Share your Potato Pal with family and friends and use it as a prop to help retell the story
  • Create several Potato Pals and host your very own *cutest in the world* contest
  • Keep your Potato Pal to remind you to believe in yourself and be proud of who you are!

*~Overall, have fun creating your own *Potato Pal Craft*, and I hope you and your little ones enjoy this *cutest craft in the world*! Please comment below  – tag me on Instagram @MaiStoryBookLibrary  – or post on FaceBook to share your photos of your own *Potato Pal Crafts*  and your own reading adventures! I’d love to hear from you!~*

*Check Back on Next Friday for our New Reading Adventure*

*~Until next time, Happy Reading~*

2 Replies to “MaiStoryBook Library: Rot, The Cutest in the World + Potato Pal Craft”

    1. Thank you!!! I’m glad you enjoyed this read aloud and hope your kiddos did too! This is such a fun book to share with a *cute* message 🙂

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