Book Party – No Small Potatoes

Last I looked, BBS Don Tate was one busy author/illustrator. Blink and you’ll miss his latest, No Small Potatoes: Junius G. Groves and His Kingdom in Kansas, a wonderful tale about hard work paying off with author, Tonya Bolden.

The Buzz on No Small Potatoes

“The mixed-media illustrations, awash in blues, greens, and browns, successfully represent the expansiveness of the land and the momentous nature of Groves’ accomplishments” – Kirkus (Starred review)

2018 Junior Library Guild Selection

Starred Review from School Library Journal

Small Potatoes in Don’s Words

Who’d’ve known there was a such thing as a “Potato King of the World,” and that he was a Black man from Kansas? A running theme in this story demonstrates how hard work and perseverance pay off. I think it’s an important and inspiring message for kids. Junius Groves reminded me of my own hardworking grandpa, who worked night and day to provide for his family. My grandpa wasn’t a potato farmer, he was a janitor, plumber, handyman, do-it-yourselfer. He never became rich like Junius Groves, but never stopped working, even into elderly age. NO SMALL POTATOES is an important story, but fun, too. And a whole lot of potato drawing!

Purchase No Small Potatoes



Barnes &  Noble


2 thoughts on “Book Party – No Small Potatoes

  1. I like this book, too. Even though I did not read this book yet, I think I will buy it. I think this is a good book to demonstrate that people will get paid for what they have done in the past. If you are hard working, you will receive a good thing. It makes me remember my dad. He used to be a farmer and hard worker. I am living in America now because my father never stopped working and saved money for me go to America to study.

  2. The subtitle of this book caught my eye. I was born and raised in Kansas and had never heard the story of this successful, black farmer. I assumed he probably lived in central or Western Kansas, so I was shocked and saddened to read the Wikipedia entry on Junius Groves and find out that he lived his entire adult life – and made his fortune in – Edwardsville, KS! Edwardsville is adjacent to Kansas City, KS – a stone’s throw from downtown Kansas City, MO. The reason this information saddens me is that there is no good reason that someone growing up in the same area has never heard of this person. Let’s face it, there aren’t THAT MANY successful people or people of historical significance from this part of the country that someone should be overlooked. I’d like to think that it’s just because I grew up in the city. Maybe people who grew up participating in 4-H and other rural activities would know this story. But I fear that my city still suffers from the lingering affects of mass segregation in the 1960s and that is the reason why people of color aren’t included in our history lessons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *