Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Moira Koskey at Green Bean Books in Portland, Ore.
Rot is a mutant potato.
But he's not just any mutant potato — he's "a super cheerful and upbeat mutant potato," according to bookseller Moira Koskey.
"He loves his life, he loves his friends. He especially loves contests and games — that's his favorite thing."
So when he sees a sign for "The Cutest in the World" contest, he has to enter.
"You could make the argument that Rot, as a mutant potato, is somewhat unattractive, but he does not feel that way about himself at all," Koskey explained. "He is bound and determined he is going to win this thing."
Rot's fellow contestants are not so sure about him, though. There's a kitten, a tiny bunny, a little jellyfish. "That's who he's up against .... And his self-confidence is a little bit shaken."
Maybe, he thinks, he should make a change. He tries on some whiskers and then some ears, but he realizes "the best thing he can possibly do is just enter the contest as his adorably hideous little self."
Koskey doesn't want to give away the ending, but Rot's "little flame of self-belief is rewarded in the end. This is a very happy book."
"Rot, the Cutest in the World!" is a read-aloud favorite at Green Bean Books, Koskey said, and Ben Clayton's illustrations "are simple and darling and cute."
"It's impossible not to root for Rot."