home the nonprofit bookstore
Shopping Cart Your Shopping Cart

Your Account

The Nonprofit Bookstore Supporting EducationOur mission...

Left endsubjectsReaderPublishersabout usRight end

Kathe Gogolewski
booksXYZ price: $15.95
$0.80 of your order (5%) will be donated to the school of your choice.


Submit a book review

TATO captures children’s imaginations by recognizing their desire to exercise power and earn the admiration of the adults closest to them. Young readers will stay glued to this enchanting tale of a young boy with magical powers struggling to rescue his family from one of his own botched experiments.

“Uh-oh,” Tato gulped as the door to the insect room swung fully open, “insects maybe looking different now.”

“Uh, yeah,” Michael said, “bigger, I think.”

“Much, much bigger,” Nicole remarked as the first one, a gigantic spider towering high above them crawled out onto the hallway floor. Although it was only one-half inch tall in reality, it might as well have been ten feet high and twenty feet long, since that is how it appeared to the little company now that they were reduced to the size of peas.

The spider was brown, with long spiky hairs all over it, even on the abdomen. A pair of hairy and pulpy looking sacs swayed beneath the eyes. Michael knew these were the fangs, which were filled with poison. They ended in hard pointed claws used for seizing and stabbing their prey.

The fangs alone on this monster appeared more six feet long to the trio. They were tight and full, ready to burst. The claws on the end were curved inward, and faced each other like two long drawn swords.

As it ventured out a little ways, it turned slowly around, like a huge ship in a harbor. The little party stood transfixed, as if they were watching a being from another planet. The sheer size of it made Michael feel faint.

Finally the rear came into view. Liquid was oozing out from dozens of spinning and whirring tubes in the rump. The liquids combined and hardened in the air to make a huge silken rope, about the same thickness as the trunk of a sapling. Michael knew this was the spinneret of the spider, where silk was released for making webs and draglines, which the spider used to fall through the air. As the beast continued turning, the spinneret left a silken trail behind it.

Spilling out around the creature, dozens more spiders flowed into the hallway. Most were about the same size, but a few were smaller and some, to their utter surprise, were even larger. One of these sauntered into view with a slow mechanical stride, carrying a darkly colored and bulbous abdomen high on eight exceptionally long legs. Michael looked up at the underbelly and spotted a large red hourglass, which he recognized as the female black widow. The children flattened themselves against the wall in fear.

The next invasion of creatures advanced slowly behind the first. Numerous weevils, or snout beetles, along with ladybugs, fireflies, ants, and some green aphids poured out the door. Some of the beetles were extremely fierce looking, with long horns protruding from an iron-like mask resembling the head of a rhinoceros. Their hard unyielding bodies made them look like armored tanks as they coursed into view.

The hall was now infested with giant insects.

Paralyzed with fear, the little troupe was only vaguely aware of the buzzing, until they felt the wind against their faces. It came out of nowhere, hovering over them and slightly off to one side as it studied them. It was as big as a bus with legs that dangled forever. A brilliant set of black and yellow stripes glistened on the abdomen. The wings were beating so rapidly as to appear invisible, and the sudden gust created when the beast arrived nearly knocked them over. Michael covered his ears to protect them from the thunderous buzzing.

The children edged themselves down the wall, away from the insect. Luckily, it did not follow. Suddenly Nicole, who was leading their retreat, stumbled backwards into a crack in the wall. It was twice as tall as she was.

“Here! Quick, come in here!”

For a long time, teaching upper elementary school children was Kathe's passion. She especially enjoyed writing stories and reading them to the children. Kathe retired from teaching four years ago when she and her husband moved to Southern California. She hoped to begin writing full time but did not account for the lure of the bells that buzzed in the elementary school across the street from their new home. She soon found herself volunteering on Fridays in fourth and fifth grade classrooms as a science teacher. Now, she enjoys both writing and teaching. And of course, she is still reading stories to the children.

Piers Anthony, science fiction and fantasy author writes: "POT-Tato is cute. Getting lost in mirror-land, and stalked by trapped bugs is good adventure. So I did enjoy this novel, and think a young reader would too."

Shirley Johnson , Senior Reviewer for Midwest Book Reviews writes: "This is a fun read, entertaining from beginning to end; but also one that will teach children lessons of life. Very highly recommended."

Heather Froeschl, reviewer for Book Ideas and Book Review writes: "Tato is a story about the process of grief, the challenges of a young boy, the knowledge that the love of family never dies, the acceptance of magical possibilities, and the power of believing. Kathe Gogolewski has written a powerful tale, masked in a simple story that will reach out
to children everywhere. Her characters are lovable and interesting, the settings vivid and captivating."

Marie Davies , reviewer for Reviews by Marie writes: In the touching story of Tato, retired elementary school teacher Kathe Gogolewski creates a fantastic world where courage gives a little boy the power to overcome the obstacles he faces to rescue his family. Michael learns that love never ends even after the ones we love have died. Tato is a wonderful fantasy adventure for middle grade readers. Tato is a fun read and an excellent teaching resource for parents and children to read together and discuss.

Cheryl McCann , reviewer for Review Books and Electronic Book Reviews writes: Tato is a very warm children's book with vivid imagination for easing a death of a family member. The storyline with its adventure will keep youngsters interested while delivering an important message that we all face sooner or later. Adults will enjoy the story as well. I highly recommend it.

Susan Stephenson , reviewer for Reviews by Lea, Museitup Club , writes: This is an action-packed, intriguing story from Kathe Gogolewski, sure to delight 10-14 year-olds. Whether in describing the details of Tato’s dresser-drawer home or chilling our blood by recounting Michael’s battle with the wolf spider, Kathe’s writing sweeps the reader along with her finely-crafted tale. If you’re a french fry fiend, or you have a pal who loves potatoes, put this book on your menu! If you just want a totally potatoriffic, unforgettable story, then “TATO”, by Kathe Gogolewski, has all the elements.

Fiction Books :: Coming of Age Books

ISBN: 1590885643
ISBN(13-digit): 9781590885642
Copyright: 2008
Book Publisher: Wings ePress
Binding: Perfect
No. of Pages: 130
Paper Weight (lb): 5.8

If you like this book, you may also enjoy:

Regardless Of Time              Ginger Gold              My Sister The Ghost #1             
Cathy Miller Frances Evlin Linda Joy Singleton

His name was George F. Babbitt, and he ...  down

gulog:  down