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

3.84  ·  Rating Details  ·  662 Ratings  ·  78 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." -- BooklistA 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 Books (first published January 1st 1992)
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Oct 25, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
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.
Mar 17, 2016 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jacob, ellie, mom, dad
The kids love this book. It must be read with an Irish accent! We read this book at breakfast while eating our once a year treat of "Lucky Charms" cereal. Each year we each get our own box and put our name on it for St. Patrick's day. The kids look forward to this every year!..krb 3/17/16
Megan Knippenberg
Fun folktale to introduce certain Irish traditions. Young children will be fascinated by the mischievous leprechaun. However, this book does not really have a moral. It does NOT teach the value of hard work, as the protagonist is lazy and gets rewarded for being lucky.
Title: Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
Author: Tomie DePaola
Genre: Folklore - European
Theme(s): cunning, hard work, sharing
Opening line/sentence:
Jamie O’Rourke was the laziest man in all of Ireland.
Brief Book Summary:
A very lazy man, Jamie, doesn’t want to have to plant and garden potatoes, so he catches a leprechaun who grants him a wish to grow the biggest potato in the world. Jamie and his wife share the giant potato with everyone, who all get sick of eating potato and promise to make sure
Jessica Murphy
Title: Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
Author & Illustrator: Tomie dePaola
Genre: European Folktale
Theme(s): European, Irish American, Just Rewards

Opening line/sentence: Jamie O’Rourke was the laziest man in all of Ireland.

Brief Book Summary: Jamie O’Rourke, a very lazy man, does not want to take care of his garden. One day, he meets a Leprechaun who gives him a potato seed instead of a pot of gold. Jamie takes the seed and plants the largest potato anyone has ever seen. After giving eve
Sara Baker
Mar 12, 2014 Sara Baker rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-8
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
Maggie Sideris
Jun 02, 2016 Maggie Sideris marked it as to-read
Title: Jamie O 19Rourke and the Big Potato
Grade Level: 2nd grade and up
Summary: This book is about Jamie O 19Rourke, who is the laziest man in Ireland. His wife usually does all the work planting and digging up the potatoes, but one day she hurts her back and cant do it, so Jamie has to figure out what to do. He finds a leprechaun who says he will give him the biggest potato in the world if Jamie would let him go and so he did.
Review: This was a great Irish folktale. I liked that the illustratio
Apr 01, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books-read
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
Mar 18, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Apr 07, 2014 Sarah Mckelvy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-daughter
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
Diana Thomsen
Mar 16, 2016 Diana Thomsen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytime
With a noticeable lack in St. Patrick's Day themed books that I find enjoyable (or short) enough to use for storytime, this particular volume has had no problem moving to the short list of books I usually use. A simplified version of the full-size picture book, this one works well for less attentive audiences, although I'd love a larger format version so the kids in the back can see a little better.
Illustrated in the normal Tomie DePaola style, this is an Irish folktale about a lazy farmer, his had working wife and a giant potato and how in the end the lazy farmer who doesn't want to plant and harvest crops gets fed anyway. The size of the potato and all the neighbors helping to harvest it reminds me of the folktale called "The Turnip" that appears in several countries folklore.
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
Jan 27, 2014 Brandi Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Allison Sell
Mar 06, 2015 Allison Sell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This folktale is humorous and lighthearted. All the better if read in an accent. As for the moral lesson for children, ask most children if they would like to be Jamie and they would say no. He is not a heroic character. Children get the joke and see Jamie as a fool.
even though i read it in my terrible Irish accent, my son loved it.
oh, Jamie O'Rourke is a lazy man, who just doesn't want to farm
his pratties, good thin there are leprechauns!
a fun story to read, and Mr. dePaola's illustrations are always
Sheryl Beam
Oct 19, 2011 Sheryl Beam rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2013 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ed-310
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
Apr 12, 2016 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tomi dePaola gives such a fun retelling of a classic Irish folk tale. That particular folk tale, however, might take that annoying adage "work smarter not harder" a little to far to the extreme.
Apr 01, 2016 Valerie rated it really liked it
Jamie O'Rourke was the laziest man in Ireland. When Jamie captures a leprechaun, he uses his wish to grow the biggest potato ever. It takes all the neighbors to help dig it out.
Jan 21, 2010 Josiah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 02, 2010 Brenna Call rated it it was ok
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
Mar 23, 2015 Denise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This is a delightful Irish folktale complete with leprechauns and praties (potatoes) that is perfect for storytime with children.

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
Mar 24, 2016 Catherine rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Cute Irish folktale. Not real sure if I like how the lazy main characters ends up still being lazy at the end of the story.
Michael Earp
I enjoyed this on one level, and on another I wondered why such a lazy and undeserving person received such a bountiful reward...
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
Mar 17, 2016 Brooke rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate this book because the lazy man gets rewarded after lying to the village. Even the kids picked up on it.
Sarah Goodner
Apr 01, 2014 Sarah Goodner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tomie dePaola's stories and illustrations are always a treat - unlike trying to eat the biggest potato in the world!
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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...

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