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  See more details below

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

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101653463
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/27/1997
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
12
Sales rank:
471,983
File size:
15 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
3 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a
family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of
Arts&Crafts in Oakland, California.



It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.



He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major
influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his
field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library
Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.



Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different
countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.



- He has been published for over 30 years.

- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.

- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.



Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for
his books in the children's book world, including:


- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association

- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association

- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution

- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal

- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association



copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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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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