Luck with Potatoes

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Amy Timberlake
This is Farmer Clemmen's all too common luck: he invests in mountain cows and their ample weight collapses the Tennessee hills. But then Clemmen decides that the least he can do is plant potatoes in the dark, mooing abyss left by his hefty cattle. With all the twists and turns of a true tall tale, Ketteman tells us to keep trying when luck seems lost. The text is complimented by Floca's warm watercolor and ink illustrations (similar to James Stevenson's). What happened with Clemmen? I'll give you one clue-look at the title.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4A modern tall tale that begs to be read aloud in your best Tennessee mountain twang. Clemmon Hardigree is a hardscrabble, hard-luck farmer whose every effort ends in disaster. His unique mountain cows grow so fat that the pasture caves in, creating what is known to this day as Cow Hollow. Clem spends his last few dollars on seed potatoes to plant in that Hollow and they grow so fast that they cause earthquakes and so big that just one fills the back of his truck. Finally, one of these giant spuds gets away from him and earns him a fortune. Floca's watercolor cartoonstyle paintings are reminiscent of James Stevenson's work, full of asides that sparkle with humor. Don't miss the fun!Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE
Janice Del Negro
Clemmon Hardigree, "a hard-scrabble, hard-luck farmer," never had any luck. When he goes into dairy farming, the pasture collapses from the weight of the cows. But Clemmon doesn't give up--he plants potatoes instead. The potatoes grow so big, Clemmon can fit only one at a time on the back of his pickup. When the first one is sliced open, out walks one of Clemmon's cows. "By the time Clemmon finished saving all his cows, he had a mountain range of potato chunks. He sawed them into planks and sold them to a lumber company." Ketteman has a firm grasp on the humor and stylistic elements of the tall tale. Her narrative voice is bemused yet down-to-earth, retaining its laconic style even as the situation becomes more and more outlandish. Reminiscent of James Stevenson's illustrations, Floca's watercolors effectively complement the increasingly outrageous plot and add punch to a very funny tale. Even Floca's cows have personality and presence.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780531094730
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1995
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 720L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.50 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.33 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2002

    Hysterically Funny!

    We just loved this book when we checked it out of the library years ago for my son, and now I am looking for it for my daughter, who is six years younger. Be sure to read all it all to catch the surprize ending!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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