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Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

Written & illustrated by Tomie dePaola
4.83 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 3.9 / 5.0
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used $7.99
Jan 27, 1997
Publication Date
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What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“A fun, seasonal classic about lazy Jamie O’Rourke striking it lucky with a magic 'pratie' seed.”

In this classic Irish folktale, renowned children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola—who has celebrated his Irish heritage more than once (Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland)—tells of Jamie O’Rourke, “the laziest man in all of Ireland.” When Jamie’s wife, Eileen, asks him to go out and harvest the potatoes—the “praties”—he insists he’ll “break in two” if he even tries to climb out of bed. But then Eileen hurts her back as she digs, so Jamie has no choice but to get up. (However, he still has no intention of working; he heads for the church to confess to the priest before he starves to death.) Luck strikes as he wanders upon a leprechaun, but lazy Jamie appears to be duped by the leprechaun when he lets him go in exchange for a magic seed. Time will prove it was a good trade, however, as the seed grows a potato so big Jamie shares it with the town folk, who, when they’ve eaten more pratie than they can stand, offer to provide Jamie food for life if he just won’t plant another pratie seed. And being paid to not work is something Jamie can handle: “What a perfect life for a lazy man.” dePaola illustrates his classic tale in his signature folk style with plain, rounded characters and soft colors. A moral tale of the value of a strong work ethic it certainly is not—though Jamie’s laziness is hyperbolized to a laughable level—but as an enduring folktale it connects with the human instinct that drives gold rushes and seems to be for some at least part of the fun of St. Patrick’s Day festivities—the hope of striking it rich with a pot of gold, or in Jamie’s case, one big potato.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

The laziest man in all of Ireland catches a leprechaun, who offers a potato seed instead of a pot of gold for his freedom.

What Kind of Book is Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
5.0 / 7.0
Mom of Boys
Mom of three little boys who love books about dragons, whangdoodles and magic.
5.0 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.5 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

Book Topics › St. Patrick's Day
Golden Children's Books For St. Patrick's Day
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
Book Topics › fairy tales and folklore
Children's Books About Fairy Tales And Folklore
Book Topics › folklore
Children's Books About Folklore
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Who Wrote Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

author & illustrator
Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the winner of the 2011 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature,” among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and its companions, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy; The Legend of Old Befana; The Clown of God; Michael Bird-Boy; Andy, That’s My Name; and Quiet. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire.

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What Has Tomie dePaola Said About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
January 27, 1997
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