Local couple writes, illustrates children’s book honoring SLV potatoes


MONTE VISTA — Ann Marie Kuhn is proud of the children’s book she has written and collaborated on with her husband Chances Kuhn.

“My children were a real inspiration to me when I was writing this book. I dedicate this book to them,” Ann Marie Kuhn said. “I also looked around at the Valley and saw the beauty in all the agriculture that we have here. The people in the book are called the Atopots, this is potato rearranged to form the name of the people. The book is my vision, put down on paper. I painted all the pictures in the book on canvases, before I ever put them into the book, and my husband helped me with all the words. I am hoping young people will look at this book and really enjoy it.”

The title of the book is “The Atopots.” According to Ann Marie Kuhn, the book tells the story of benevolent beings, as different cultures with different occupations. The book is centered around teaching children the beauty of different cultures of the world, with positive and simple words, so that children can see the beautiful differences in all people and see how people fit together and work together, to make the world flow together.

Ann Marie Kuhn was born and raised in Minnesota and graduated from the Art Institute of Minneapolis in 2009. She said she has been painting since and has focused on her painting for the last decade or so.

Ann Marie Kuhn always dreamed of writing a children’s book and said that it all came together when she moved to the San Luis Valley in 2013 and married her husband, Chances.

Ann Marie Kuhn said that the Valley was a major inspiration to her and recalls when she first started painting the pictures for her book.

“It was really important to me to embody how beautiful people are into my book. Agriculture in the San Luis Valley is a beautiful part of the Valley,” she said. “We came up with the Atopots, potatoes grow here in abundance. Each painting that I made is a vision of how beautiful I see the world, my son Rhythm really gave me inspiration. In the book, I have picture of mothers with their children, showing the importance of mothers in the world. There are painters and gardeners, and musicians, there are animal Atopots in the book, too.”

Ann Marie Kuhn explained how at the end of the book her, and her husband show how all the Atopots make the world like a big family, and how together the family has one beautiful song to sing. She is proud that her book shows children in a simple way, a unique beauty of cultures, occupations, and loving people. It is her hope that the Atopots inspire children to always be accepting and loving of each other.