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Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale
     

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale

by Tomie dePaola
 

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"Illustrated in dePaola's signature style, this has an inviting look. Buoyant watercolors are framed by thin orange borders....An engaging read-aloud choice for St. Patrick's Day." — BooklistA Cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette....Attractive and amusing." — Kirkus Reviews

Overview

"Illustrated in dePaola's signature style, this has an inviting look. Buoyant watercolors are framed by thin orange borders....An engaging read-aloud choice for St. Patrick's Day." — BooklistA Cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette....Attractive and amusing." — Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This inspired Irish folktale clearly illustrates that taking the easy way out of a situation is sometimes more trouble than it's worth. Potato farmer Jamie O'Rourke, ``the laziest man in all of Ireland,'' is unfortunately not the brightest of men either. The prospect of a harsh and foodless winter, due to meager crops, and the ceaseless nagging of his hardworking wife impel Jamie to the church to pray for help. As Irish luck would have it, Jamie happens upon and captures a leprechaun who cunningly offers magic potato seeds instead of the traditional pot of gold. The resulting colossal spud feeds the O'Rourkes and the other villagers far longer than anyone could have imagined. Although the comical tone works well here, readers may be surprised that Jamie is rewarded for being lazy. Thatched-roof cottages, stone hedges and sheep dot the green landscape, depicting rustic life on the Emerald Isle. DePaola's distinctive homespun style and genial gentry round, child like faces add plenty of zip to this silly story. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Debra Briatico
Jamie O'Rourke, the laziest man in all of Ireland, tries to avoid work at all costs. When his wife Eileen hurts her back and can no longer work, Jamie decides to visit his church. During his walk, he captures a leprechaun and demands his pot of gold. Instead of giving the Irish man his gold, the tiny green-clad fellow gives Jamie a potato seed. Upon returning home, Jamie plants and waters the magic seed, which becomes the biggest "pratie" he or any of the villagers has ever seen. In his effort to uproot the vegetable, Jamie and his fellow villagers get the potato stuck in the middle of the road. When he is blamed for the mishap, Jamie invites everyone to take pieces of the potato home with them. After a winter of nothing but potatoes, the villagers promise to give Jamie and his wife plenty of food each day in return for not ever planting another magic potato seed again.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 --dePaola's new picture book pays tribute to the other side of his heritage: the Irish. Adapted from an unspecified folktale, the story follows the adventures of Jamie O'Rourke, ``the laziest man in all of Ireland,'' and his long-suffering wife, Eileen. When Eileen's bad back prevents her from harvesting the potato crop, Jamie is convinced that he's in imminent danger of starvation. He hurries off to church, eager to make his confession before the inevitable end, but along the way he stumbles upon a leprechaun. Overjoyed by his good luck, Jamie accepts a magical potato seed in place of the customary pot of gold. Despite this unorthodox gift, he finds that his fortunes have been made by the encounter--in a roundabout and humorous sort of way. The text has traditional folklore conventions: exaggerated, yet flat, characters; a tricky plot; and, of course, a happy ending. dePaola's illustrations are attractive as always, although their static look is sometimes at odds with the tall-tale flavor of the narrative. However, variations in the placement of text and pictures, as well as varying sizes of illustrations, help to create additional interest. --Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698116030
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/28/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
192,563
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.14(d)
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola (www.tomie.com) is the acclaimed author and/or illustrator of more than 250 books for children. His books range from autobiographical stories to retellings of folktales and legends to original tales, such as the Strega Nona books. He lives in New London, New Hampshire.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Connecticut and New Hampshire
Date of Birth:
September 15, 1935
Place of Birth:
Meriden, CT
Website:
http://www.tomie.com/main.html

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