Sharing stories through children’s picture books has been a dream of mine since I was seven years old when my best friend and I would sit under a cherry tree, writing and drawing stories about a very busy bunny family. It is my hope that the books from Potato Publishing will bring smiles, inspire positive thinking, and remind us all that our world is a brighter, happier place when we are kind to each other.
Why Potato Publishing? Every so often while I was growing up, my dad would tell me the story of the mysterious potato bag. It was the early 1930s and the Great Depression raged on. My dad’s family was pretty darn poor. They were good-hearted people who worked hard, but finding enough food every day to feed their family of seven wasn’t easy. One day, my dad walked into the kitchen and saw my grandmother–who was a strong and faith-filled woman–crying quietly. When he asked her what was wrong, she said she didn’t have anything to feed them for dinner. But, true to her spirit of positivity, she lifted her chin, squeezed his hand, and said not to worry, all would be well. Sure enough, a short while later, my dad thought he heard a noise at the screen door. When he went to look, he saw no one, but he found a big bag of potatoes on the step. That night they had the most delicious potato soup ever.
My books are dedicated to my family, especially my encouraging husband Mark and two amazing grown kids, Laura and Nat, and to my friends and colleagues who have helped me on a difficult journey. My books are also dedicated to my doctor and the caring nurses and staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering. They are truly a silver lining on this journey I can honestly say I didn't want to take. My doctor advised me to do what makes me happy. And so began Potato Publishing.
Barbara Valenza, founder
A PLEDGE: EARNINGS FROM THE SALES OF POTATO PUBLISHING KIDS BOOKS ARE DONATED TO MSK KIDS AND ST. JUDE CHILDREN'S RESEARCH HOSPITAL.