Nov. 9, 2022 -- The media center at Canterbury is filled with potatoes. Potatoes dressed up as storybook characters. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s the annual “Potatoes on Parade” display, an idea that media ancillary Laurie Wilson borrowed from the Learning Librarians Facebook page and one the kids have fully embraced.
When each class comes in for their library time, they always head straight to the potatoes, eager to see what creative characters their classmates have come up with. This year, there are superheroes, Captain Underpants (who is sort of shaped like a potato), Lil’ Petey, the boy from The Snowy Day, Little Red Riding Hood and the inevitable assortment of Harry Potter characters. One of the most elaborate is of Hagrid, complete with his baby dragon Norbert in a cradle at his side.
Though the creations are supposed to stand up on their own, the one of David from “No, David!” (which looks remarkably like the character) was built by connecting three potatoes, making it extra heavy. In keeping with David’s feisty ways, Ms. Wilson and the potato’s creator Victor Firson decided that David was just having a temper tantrum and left him lying on his side.
Students are also allowed to use water bottles, apples, toilet paper rolls, anything they can find and reuse from their own home, to create their characters. Ms. Wilson provides some materials like scarps of fabric and the students are clever in how they use what’s available to them. Case in point, Black Panther’s cape is made of a face mask.
The annual display is a celebration of reading and of creativity. Students are not forced to participate, only bringing in a decorated potato if they so choose. As Ms. Wilson said, “It is something fun and easy for the kids to do on their own, and I get to reap the benefits by having fun things to display in the library.”