Description
TATO, a fantasy adventure for upper elementary readers, captures children's imaginations by recognizing their desire to earn the admiration of the adults closest to them. The story casts Michael Tate, an inventive and willful boy, and his bossy older sister, Nicole, into a strange world filled with huge mirrors and bizarre creatures. They must rescue their parents from the evil power that rules the realm.

Michael's trouble begins with the passing of his grandfather and best friend, Gankum. Rebuffed by his family when he insists that Gankum now lives in his closet, he confides to his grandfather's spirit that he wants someone new to love him. When he learns the secret for creating a baby brother by soaking a potato in a magic formula, he jumps at the chance.

He botches the formula, however, and instead of a brother, two creatures are magically spawned: One, soulless and desperate, kidnaps Michael's parents with the hope of stealing their souls. The other, Tato, part human, part potato, yet irrepressibly warm and affectionate, accompanies Michael and Nicole in their quest to find and free their parents. Danger and treachery greet them every step of the way. Children are enchanted by this tale of a young boy who acquires magical powers that get him both in and out of trouble.



Media Mentions

Praise and Reviews

REVIEW EXCERPTS for TATO:

 

Piers Anthony, noted science fiction and fantasy author of Xanth series:
"I found Tato to be a well-written fantasy novel that...became compelling as the magic developed."

"The story is interesting with young Michael believing more than he should, and the power of his belief making it real. It also gets scary, as the malign mirror eats souls."

"It's about a seven year old boy who tries to make a little brother from a potato and almost succeeds. But he messes up the formula and spills some on a miror, so not only does he get a talking potato instead of a brother, the mirror starts devouring people, including his parents. Now he has to go into the mirror himself To try to rescue them, and it's harrowing."

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:
"This is a fun read, entertaining from beginning to end; but also one that will teach children lessons of life.  Very highly recommended."

Tracy-Jane Newton, reviewer for Alternative Book Reviews:
"Kathe Gogolewski is an adaptable writer, who can turn her hand to creating a children’s story with ease. It’s not surprising she trained as a teacher! I enjoyed the ending tremendously, and when I asked my son what he thought, he told me, ‘I liked the ending because it was happy, but kind of sad at the same time!’  This is a captivating adventure of magic and mayhem, where one child’s yearning for adult recognition throws him into an unfamiliar fantasy world, where he discovers his true inner powers – love and courage – are held within.  Tato is guaranteed to thrill the younger audience and comes thoroughly recommended by us oldies too!" For a full review, click on the Alternative Book Reviews link
above.

Tracy-Jane also says:
"I honestly enjoyed it (TATO) as much as Jake (her ten-year-old son) did, and reading together makes all the difference when you see he is enjoying it, and not just reading it because 'Mum wants him to!'"

Heather Froeschl, reviewer for Book Ideas and Book Review:
"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." For a full review, click on Book Ideas or Book Review link above.

Marie Davies, reviewer for  Book Reviews by Marie, says:
"In the touching story of Tato, retired elementary school teacher Kathe
Gogolewski creates a fantastic world where courage gives a little boy the power 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."

Susan Stephenson, reviewer for Muse Book Reviews,  says:
"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."

Cheryl Mc Cann, reviewer for Review Books  and Electronic Book
Reviews:
"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."

Sarah Lomas, reviewer for MYSHELF: "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."

WHAT KIDS ARE SAYING ABOUT TATO:

Mrs. Barnea's 4th grade class at Herbert Hoover Elementary in the Palo AltoUnifiedSchool District wrote letters to the author after her visit. Here are a few excerpts from some of those letters:
"I really loved the book Tato! It shows a lot of feelings. It shows sadness, bravery, happiness, and many feelings in between. The feelings help the story, and make it more interesting to read. It also gets you to know the characters more. You are touched by some of their feelings or heart. Because of that, the story affects you more than other books. There is a message to the story, or a moral. I think the moral is that love lasts forever, so it's good for readers to know. Many young readers don't know that moral, so it would be good for them to read your book." - Michelle

"I had a great time during the week that you came to visit. Everyone finished the book. It gets so emotional at the end. It was amazing how seven-year old Michael Tate gained his power by being brave and saved his whole family. It's hard enough just to get the courage to stand up for yourself." - Kelsey

"I felt very sad at the end of the book when Tato dies. I felt very nervous when Michael was about to fight the spider. Your writing was very emotional. Kids who will be lucky to read Tato will like it very much. The book that you wrote was one of the best books I ever read."  -Travis

"I felt the story was exciting. Tato was an adventurous book. It always left me with questions, then they always seem to answer the questions...Your book has many interesting parts." - Stephanie

"Your book has good characters, magic and settings. I could really picture it! My favorite part was when Peter Oliver Tate was born. He was like a dream brother. I would recommend your book to anyone." -Emily

"The book Tato was awesome. It should deserve a Newbery Award...I wish I had a little companion like Tato." -David

"Tato is the best book ever! I really like the way you've written the book; I can feel myself in the mirror world, hanging from the beetle, stuck in the gooey web, walking inside the endless doors, it all seems so real. You painted vivid pictures in my mind's eye...If you don't mind me giving a suggestion, her it is: write a sequel to Tato!! I love Tato so much, that I'd be glad if another book came out by the same author. Also, I think Tato should get the Newbery Award, it certainly deserves it." -Jayshree

"Thank you for the marvelous week of fun and excitement. I enjoyed your company and I hope you will visit again sometime. I also hope that there will be another book about Tato because it is so good...Also thanks for sharing the activities with us. My favorite was the one with the rainbow." -Jarrod

"I looked forward to each day of school that week because you came to do science and writing projects with us. Your magic tricks are amazing. Although I enjoyed every word of your book, Tato, I especially like the part when Michael meets Tato. It amazed me when I could picture him trembling on the dresser...I hope you become the second J. K. Rowling!" -Sabrina

"I love the book. If I had to rate this book one to five, I would rate it a five. I think the message of the book is don't be too sad when you lose things." -Paul

"Your book, Tato, was thrilling! I felt that once I started reading, I wouldn't be able to stop! The sincerity of Tato, the pure imagination of Michael and the love he had for Gankum, it all seemed so true. I found great pleasure in the little experiments we did, especially the part when we tested the rainbow with the mirror. My most enjoyable time in the hours that you were here, with us, was when you read. I also treasure the book that you, especially signed for me!" -Monica

"It (Tato) is wonderful. The best part I like is when Michael makes Tato. I loved how Tato talks. I also like it when they're all in the mirror world, and how they shrink when they walk down the hall. I like it when he could see his Grandpa. But it's sad that Tato had to go away in order to let Michael's family go home." -Sophie

"If I were a judge reading the book, I would give it the highest book award there is! It's just so good!...Thank you for letting us have a great time with you! You're a great person to be with!" Joelle

"I really relished the moment when you came in. Your book, Tato, is amazing. You really made my week, a week to remember....One of my favorite parts is when Gankum says "love is forever." I like this because it gave Michael a reason to feel good about himself. Tato is a great book." Rajeev

"Tato is a winner. How did you get that story? I wish you could come to the classroom again." -Ervin

"I really liked the activities that we did in class, especially the one about the blind spots. It was really fun learning about our eyes. I was really lucky to meet an author because that is what I've wanted to be when I grow up! ...I think Tato was one of the best books I have ever read." -Nabeel

Mrs. Connaugton's 5th grade class at Valley View Elementary in the WestContraCostaUnifiedSchool District also wrote letters to the author. Here are their comments:

" I think Tato is one of the best books in the world."   -Alexander

"Your a great writer. Tato was a great book, I loved it."    -
Alexandria  

"I really enjoyed Tato. I didn't know you were such a good author."  - Kishleen

"I think Tato is one of the best books I read because it has all kinds of adventures."
- Scarlett

I loved Tato! I liked the ending the most."  - Corissa

"The magic in the book was awesome and I really can't believe you wrote all of it. I can barely think up a page never the less a whole book."  - Ben

" I personally think that (Tato) was a very good book."   - Tiffani

"Tato is a great book." - Alyssa

"I love to write books myself. I would like to publish my books someday. I loved Tato and you inspired me to write more books. I loved the feeling you put in it too! Thanks for your dedication and patience to this class."  - Emily

Children from Mrs. Vivaldi's fourth grade class at LakeElementary were asked what they thought of TATO after the story had been read to them. Here are the unedited excerpts from their written responses:

"I love TATO. It is now one of my favorite books...it's about a boy who believes she can bring a potato to life..." -Anna

"This is a great book. It is about a brother, a sister, a potato and a lot of magic.If I were to give this book on a scale of 1-10 it would defenetly be a 10." -Kahryn

"This book brang a bunch of joy to my life and I think all children who love fantasies should read this book...I give Tato a thumbs up!  -Emily

"I thought it (Tato) was the best! I really liked all the details and magic."  -Jaymee

"I really liked the book because each page was exciting." -
Harrison

"I loved the book "tato" very much. It was the best book ever." -Kaitlyn

"Tato is so cool. I like how it talks. I think it's funny that Mikele  believes potatos can turn into babies."  -Sean

"Tato was a great learning experience for young readers. It shows that you have to sometimes let stuff go once it's gone." -Connor

"My new favorite book is Tato." -Christian

"Tato is the best story ever...All through the story he is filled with more and more adventure. This is my favorite book ever."-Natalie

"The story was very cool." -Justin

"I really like it." -Katie C.

"The book TATO was awsum! It was one of the most coolest, funniest, most amazing books I have ever read!" -Lauren

"It (the book) was really, really, really cute! I loved how it was exciting in the beginning, and then kind of sad."-Katie

"It is a great book. It drags you in. Tato is about a yung boy who makes a potato come to life."-Mason

"This book (Tato) is a great book about a fantasy story about a boy who makes a formula and puts it on a potato. It is so good you want to read it all."-John

"Our class enjoyed listening to...Tato...I loved this story  because it is full of mystery and magic." -Haley

"I think it's a really good book."-Jenny

"I think Tato is a very good  book. Because I like how there is an adventure in the story."-Dakota

"The book Tato was one of the best books I have ever herd. I would give the book 5 stars." -Clayton

"I liked it a lot because it was very adventurous, exciting, and just a great book."
-Shane

"It is a great book of fiction and adventure about a boy with power to twist reality."
-Hayden

"Tato was the best story ever. It was a hit." -Curtis


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Kathe Gogolewski
Kathe the author of three books, numerous short stories and poems, including TATO, a fantasy adventure for children ages 8 to 13 available at www.tri-studio.com, as well as two b More...