Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato” as Want to Read:
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato (Jamie O'Rourke)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  470 ratings  ·  58 reviews
"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." -- Booklist A Cheery picture book, with the artist using the lighter, brighter side of his palette....Attractive and amusing." -- Kirkus Reviews
Published January 27th 1997 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1992)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 667)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tomie dePaola is quickly becoming a household favorite. He's a little lengthy for my preschoolers, however, my 5 yr old loves him. dePaola is educational and enjoyable to read. The illustrations have a unique style all their own that even I enjoy while reading. This one was about some Irish legends, including some info about potatoes, how the Irish talk, and Leprechauns. My son and I really enjoyed this one. A great educational read for any child.
This was a fun tale, but the main character is lazy and a liar. Not exactly what I'd like my kids to emulate. It was silly and all, but the ending sort of made it okay that he was lazy and he'd never have to work again. Uh, rewarding laziness? Again, not exactly what I'd want my kids to learn.

The pictures are typical of dePaola and we enjoyed looking at them. A silly story, but one we won't read again.
Sara Baker
Summary: This book is about the laziest man in all of Ireland. His name is Jamie. Jamie has a wife named Eileen. Eileen had to do all of Jamie's work because he was too lazy. Eileen ended up hurting her back one day when she was digging up potatoes, since her lazy husband would not. Eileen had to stay in bed, so Jamie set out on a walk. When he was out walking he found a leprechaun. The leprechaun offered him a seed that would supply his enough potatoes to make sure he and his wife would always ...more
Jamie is a lazy, good-for-nothing fellow who won't plant the potatoes or do anything else about them because he's got a bad back so his wife has to do all the work. When she gets down in her back, Jamie sets out for church to confess his sins to the priest. On the way he hears a voice and discovers a leprechaun who he grabs by the coattails; everybody knows a leprechaun has to give you his pot of gold if you catch him. The leprechaun fools Jamie and convinces him that a potato seed was all he co ...more
It's impossible to read this fun book aloud without trying on an Irish accent. It was perfect for reading yesterday on St. Patrick's Day. Jamie O'Rourke (I LOVE the name Jamie) is the laziest man in all of Ireland. He manages to catch a leprechaun, but lets him go after the leprechaun gives him a magic seed to grow the world's largest "pratie." The seed seems like a bad idea until it grows. It's hard to get out of the ground, but with some community teamwork everyone shares in the bounty. So muc ...more
Sarah Mckelvy
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato. "Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland." His wife was long-suffering and hard working, but an injury forced her to remain in bed. He met a leprechaun and wanted his gold, but instead made a deal to take the seed that would grow the biggest prattie {potato} in the world, which ends up growing in his backyard. The villagers chip in and help Jamie out, but they have to eat potatoes all winter which in the end they are sick of eating and offer to cook ...more
Wendy Jones
The kids reallt like this book. This book is about a man that is very lazy. He makes his wife do all the gardening/planting. When she hurts her back and can no longer do those chores, he is forced to do them. One day, he finds a leprechaun. He wants the leprechaun's pot of gold, but the leprechaun offers him a wish instead. When he wishes for a seed for potatoes and goes home to plant it, he has no idea what is going to happen next. The potato grows to be very, very large. The whole town has to ...more
Brandi Wilson
This story is a different kind of folktale. I thought it was interesting to talk about how last the man was until he realized that life wasn't going to go on if he didn't get off his bum and help out. People never thought this man would do something, so when he ended up growing the largest potato, they were all shocked. I would recommend this story to students.
Sheryl Beam
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato is about a lazy irish man that a leprechaun tricks into taking a large potato seed instead of taking his pot of gold. This book is for elementary aged school children and is very colorful and with many illustrations that keep the reader interested in what is going on in the story. I rated this story three stars because even though I would recommend this story to other parents and teachers to read to children, it some what gives off an expression of even if your ...more
In this St. Patrick's day tale, Jamie is a very lazy Irishman whose wife tends the garden. When her back goes out, he is left feeling sorry for himself because he thinks he will starve. He decides to go to the church to pray, but instead comes across a sneaky little leprechaun. Jamie wants a pot of gold from the leprechaun but settles on a pratie seed instead that the leprechaun said will grow the biggest potato in history.

I read this story aloud to a 1st grade classroom and they loved it. They
I'd give one and a half stars to this book.

As is the case in Tomie dePaola's other story about Jamie O'Rourke, this book feels so completely Irish that I found myself reading the text in my mind with a lilting Irish accent. It's kind of fun to do, actually, which works well in a fun story like this one. Jamie O'Rourke is a rogue, to be sure, but we all sometimes feel the way he does about hard work.

The lesson learned in Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato is a somewhat ambivalent one, with Ja
Brenna Call
Irish folktale about Jamie O’Rourke the laziest man in Ireland that illustrates that it is often easier to do something right the first time than to try to cut corners. Jamie is lazy and tries to get out of planting and caring for his potato garden by having his wish to have the biggest potato in Ireland for his own granted by a leprechaun. The Leprechaun grants the wish but Jamie soon learns it is more than he bargained for when it grows so big that it becomes hassle to deal with. DePaola’s sig ...more

DePaola, Tomie. Jamie O'rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale. New York: Putnam, 1992. Print.

Jamie O'Rourke, the laziest man in Ireland, refuses to do any of the work it takes to harvest “praties” for the winter. His wife, who is used to doing all the work, falls ill and cannot. Jamie comes across a leprechaun who gives him a seed to grow the biggest potato in the world. It is so large that all the villagers share it all winter long. The people eat so much potato that they neve
Mhm Storytelling
I read this with my students around St. Patrick's day and they really got a kick out of it. This is the story of a man named Jamie and how he caught a leprechaun who traded him a potato seed for the biggest potato in the world. The book is written in an Irish dialect so some of the wording may need to be explained. The best part of the book, or at least the part that my students enjoyed the most is the picture at the end, which changes the way the reader thinks about the ending of the story. I w ...more
Sarah Goodner
Tomie dePaola's stories and illustrations are always a treat - unlike trying to eat the biggest potato in the world!
I do a pretty terrible Irish accent, but the kids enjoyed it anyway.
I love this story. Tomie DePaola is a great author and illustrator.
Samantha Sebastian
This story is very funny and a full of color. Students could read it around St. Patricks day since it involves a leprechaun in an Irish community helping Jamie O'Rourke. Although Jamie is lazy and thinks he will starve because his wife got hurt and won't be able to work to feed them, it involves the legend of leprechauns as well as the introduction of potatoes in the Irish culture. Younger students wouldn't know of the great potato famine, but as a teacher it is something that i could let them k ...more
Donna Essner
This is a retelling of an Irish Folktale.
Cute and silly book but not a very good message overall. not sure what i think about the moral of the story... or if there really was one. it seems the lazy Irish man gets rewarded with a lifetime supply of food so he can go on being lazy. and my daughter found the part where he caught the leprechaun and forced him to give him the seed to be disturbing ... she said he bullied him. which he did. one good thing is he shared the huge potato or rather his wife did... so everyone had more potato than ...more
This was a great pick for a library read-aloud! It lends itself well to goofy accents and other vocal intonations that kids love. After reading the book, we started seed potatoes for each child to grow, so this book also ties into hands-on activities.

The tale itself is retold very well, and de Paola's signature blocky illustrations are great for the comedy of the story. There are many cultural variations on this folktale; a Russian version involves a turnip.
The reason why I'm putting this book in here is because I read in another potato book that back when potatoes were first deemed edible by people, they were offered gold/silver instead of the potato and they stuck with the potato (I think that's right?). ANd in this folktale, the hero turns down gold for potato seeds, thus growing the biggest potato around, and feeding his whole town! How's that for history and folktales intermingling?!?
Adriana Guillen
Reading this book I made some observations of the emotions/feelings Jamie O'Rourke established in the story. Jamie was lazy, worried, kind/giving, and happy. I felt this book was more about being lazy and still getting what you want. The book also had to do with Jamie letting the leprechaun go without granting him his pot of gold. How leprechauns are lucky and they granted Jamie luck with the seed to get what he wanted to be lazy.
Irish man is lazy and gets out of work.
This book was a fairly interesting and cute read, but I'm not sure how I feel about the outcome at the end. I was a little puzzled and slightly dismayed. I won't give it away here, but I might have changed it a bit. I might recommend if you are fan of Tomie dePaola.

*Taken from my book reviews blog:
Lazy Jamie O'Rourke catches a leprechaun and receives the biggest pratie in the world instead of a pot of gold. It turns out okay for him and his wife as the townsfolk will see that they always have food so that their town is not blocked by a giant potato again. The leprechaun also wins because he keeps his pot of gold to himself.
Lauren Jackson
My second grade teacher read this to her students on St. Patrick's Day. It is an Irish folktale about a very lazy man that grew a big potato. She discussed with her class the characters and what they were like in the story. She wanted them to create their own characters and describe them in a very descriptive way.
Sally Staples
This book is about a man named Jamie O'Rourke who lives in Ireland. He is a very lazy man. He finds and catches a leprechaun, but instead of having the leprechaun give him his pot of gold, the leprechaun tricks him and gives him a potato seed. The seed makes an enormous potato enough to feed the whole village.
Kristy Schwertfeger
"Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland." He has his wife do all the housework and gardening. Then he meets a leprechaun and takes his magic seeds to grow the biggest potato ever. Soon it becomes too big and his wife has to save the day again and feeds all the village with this giant potato.
As a lady from a truly Irish family, this book was hysterical to read. The story is very cute and fun and the characters in true Tommie DePaola form.

This could introduce the potato famine and possibly grow deeply into this story to study the effects of it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 22 23 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • O'Sullivan Stew
  • St. Patrick's Day in the Morning
  • Fiona's Luck
  • Town Mouse, Country Mouse
  • Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
  • Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale
  • Manana, Iguana
  • The Runaway Wok: A Chinese New Year Tale
  • How My Parents Learned to Eat
  • The Tub People
  • There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!
  • One Potato, Two Potato
  • It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folk Tale
  • Epossumondas
  • Froggy's Best Christmas
  • Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Book?
  • It's Mine!
  • Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm
Tomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.
He's been published for 40 years and has written and/or illustrated over 200 books, including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers.
Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure.
More about Tomie dePaola...
Strega Nona The Legend of the Bluebonnet The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush The Art Lesson Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs

Share This Book