I am not a fan of rot. You know, that decaying, moldy and yucky stuff. However, Rot, the Bravest in the World! is not about the kind of rot that is “eeeewww gross!” but about a potato called Rot. And while I have not always been friends with author and illustrator Ben Clanton books (Rot, the Cutest in the World! and Narwhal and Jelly series to name a few), I did enjoy this latest adventure. There is humor in Clanton’s books that is not for everyone, but almost everyone will find something to relate too.
Our hero Rot is not just a mutant potato. No, Rot is like other people with emotions, wanting adventures, has a sibling and just wants to have fun. But “today” he must face his fears about the Squrim. Which his older brother, Snot, told him lives in the magnificent mud pit Rot wants to play in. Of course, little brother finds a way to overcome his fears and gets back at that pesky older brother of his.
Rot, the Bravest in the World! has some of the more amusing “questionable” humor I have found recently. Clanton knows how to engage his reader while we watch Rot try to be brave in one after another situation. Children will appreciate the things Rot feels, thinks, says, and does. They also might enjoy some very quirky, less than “beautiful” illustrations. But illustrations that know what they are doing by complimenting the text.
The illustrations are not for everyone as they are none to realistic, odd colors, odder details and not always “smooth” to the eye. The fit the tone and theme of the story. They are just there to entertain, not to be hung in a museum, but also there are there for the right viewer to laugh at, laugh with and enjoy. Aimed at the older crowd, the younger readers/listeners can read the illustrations to make their own story as well.