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Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato [Paperback]

By Tomie dePaola (Author)
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Item Number 150959  
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Item description for Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola...

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

Publishers Description
"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"

Citations And Professional Reviews
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 162
  • Wilson Children's Catalog - 01/01/2001 page 93

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Putnam Juvenile
Pages   28
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.66" Width: 7.98" Height: 0.12"
Weight:   0.25 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 27, 1997
Publisher   Putnam Juvenile
Age  4-8
ISBN  0698116038  
ISBN13  9780698116030  
UPC  051488006992  

Availability  36 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 08:12.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Fort Wayne, IN.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Tomie dePaola

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Tomie dePaola( is the acclaimed author and/or illustrator of more than 250 books for children. His books range from autobiographical stories to retellings of folktales and legends to original tales, such as the Strega Nona books. The American Library Association said: His works reflect an innate understanding of childhood, a distinctive visual style, and a remarkable ability to adapt his voice to perfectly suit the story. Tomie has received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, a Caldecott Honor forStrega Nona, and a Newbery Honor for his autobiographical chapter book, 26 Fairmount Avenue.He was awarded the Smithson Medal, the Regina Medal, was designated a living treasure by the state of New Hampshire, and received the 2012 Original Art Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Society of Illustrators. He lives in New London, New Hampshire."

Tomie dePaola has published or released items in the following series...
  1. 26 Fairmount Avenue Books
  2. Andy & Sandy Book
  3. Barker Twins
  4. Classic Board Books
  5. Goodnight
  6. Paperstar Book
  7. Picture Puffin Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > European
3Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > General
4Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Fairy Tales, Folk Tales & Myths > Multicultural
5Books > Subjects > Children > Literature > Humorous
6Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8

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Reviews - What do customers think about Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato?

Ah , but isn't he the luckiest of men....  Mar 7, 2007
It is March and in my 1st grade this means the reading of Tomie De Poala's fine collection of Irish tales, as we learn a bit o'Irish fun. Clovers, silkies, sheep sheering, poetry, lambs.....we are thinking of the coming of the greening of our CA hills as spring begins to warm our hearts. With the rainbows showing up to remind us of the magic of our earth...thoughts of pots of gold and leprechaun hordes too.

Today my class at U Pick It Read Aloud time enjoyed learning of Blarney Stones and leprechauns and tiny wee folk that have a pot o gold and a few tricks up their tiny little sleeves. In the month of March along with great Irish stories, corned beef and cabbage and shamrock growing we always watch The Secret of Roan Innish and enjoy a little tale or two. An a bit of decaffeinated unadorned Irish coffee. This story is perfect for a good accented read. Jamie O'Rourke is without question the laziest man in all of Ireland. Thank goodness for his hardworking wife Eileen who, sadly, gets laid up in her bed forcing Jamie out to go see the village Priest to seek a blessing before he certainly dies of starvation. He, himself, is a bit too lazy to do any work to save them, so of course he goes looking for help. What he finds is a leprechaun. He negotiates a deal with the leprechaun he captures. Not to spoil the whole tale he grows through this magical trade the largest pratie ever to be seen and in the end of the tale solves his and his dear wife Eileen's troubles all with the confidences and luck of a true fool. My class loved the tale. In typical De Poala fashion there are a few twists and a kind of natural humor in watching this main character resist so completely any lesson learned. That Jamie he is a lazy fellow to the bone. Ah to be sure.

I have several books on Ireland, pictorial, to show the children the look of the land which this book incorporates into the illustrations, stone walls, fields, rolling hills, village life. Very nice small-tale features my class recognized and enjoyed. A very sweet re-aloud made even better by reading the second sequel, or follow-up tale of Jamie and the Pooka. I really enjoy this book each year and after several stories, and time developing information about Ireland, my class likes to write leprechaun tales. Just a bit of fun for the kiddies as we are listening to Celtic music, looking at the contributions to our culture from this fine island rich with musicians, artists, story tellers and believers.

I recommend this with a tip of me hat. May you read with the luck of the Irish.
A big tale about a big potato  Oct 12, 2006
Tomie dePaola's take on an Irish folktale is wonderfully entertaining. Jamie O'Rourke, "the laziest man in all of Ireland," meets up with a leprechaun and makes a deal: instead of demanding the leprechaun's pot of gold, Jamie accepts a seed for "the biggest pratie [potato] in the world." Of course, we all need to be wary of what we wish for. The ensuing results of growing the world's largest potato cause mayhem in the village. It all settles down beautifully by the end and Jamie O'Rourke is proven not to be the fool that everyone thinks he is. A fun and colorful story for kids and adults alike.
It's pretty good but some causes for concern  May 3, 2003
This book has two themes. The first of which is to share with your neighbors because everyone pays off and wins. Another theme is that laziness pays off. The first theme is domonstrated through Jamie O'Roarke's sharing and through the villagers offer to cook for Jamie at the end of story. This theme is cute and amusing but the sharing aspect comes off as rather selfish. The theme of laziness is one that is present with a message that is there. It seems to take a back seat to the plot in terms of generating pleasure for the reader.
The plot of this book is simple and follows a logical pattern of thought. Jamie is lazy but Jamie likes to eat. His wife can no longer care for him so he goes off to pray. Jamie captures a leprechaun and makes a wish for a huge potato. He grows the potato. The villagers and Jamie dig up the potato. They eat potato all winter. The villagers are sick of potato so they offer to cook for Jamie all the next year on the condition Jamie won't grown another large potato. Each event makes sense logically.
The characterization is amusing. The photography and words add up to portray a stereotypical Irish guy which, because it is a stereotype, is believable. Jamie's foible of being lazy are amusing.
The setting in the story is not very important. It sets the tone for a lot of the cultural aspects of the story. This story would not make sense or be as funny if it was set in another country.
Point of View
The point of view this story is told from Jamie O'Roarke's point of view. This adds a lot of amusement to the story as it helps to highlight some of Jamie's character flaws.
Other Assessment
The pictures in this book are highly entertaining. They are two-dimensional and use a similar color palette the whole book through. The pictures have clearly defined shape. They are one of the best parts of this book.
One of the concerns some adult readers may have about exposing this book to young readers is the use of language in the book. The author makes the attempt to add a level of authenticity to this story by making the characters sound Irish through the use of language. This is mostly done by having the characters refer to God. One example is where Jamie says "Oh, the saints preserve us." Another example of trying to add authenticity through language is taking the g off words ending in ing. The author succeeds in adding what he strives out to do but it might appear to make the Irish seem stupid and obsessed with religion.
Fun fun fun - entertaining book  Apr 9, 2003
It is highly important for chidren to read folktales to learn about cultures and history. This includes stories that are just plain fun. I highly disagree with the reviewer here who said this story should be left untold. Not all stories have to have a moral (although IMO, this one had one, but I digress). Some stories illustrate to us what a wonderful, fine sense of humor the Irish had (and still do). Jamey had quite an adventure with the wee folk and his "Prattie". My children loved this book, as did I. We liked the dialogue, including, as I mentioned, Tomie de Paola's using of the Irish "prattie" for potatoe. The long-suffering wife was witty, and poor Jamey O'Rourke was a hoot. After reading the library version, we bought our own copy.
Plain old fun  Oct 24, 2000
This is just a plain old fun book for kids. No, there are no moral messages to sink deep into your child's soul; no, Jamie O'Rouke doesn't miraculous change at the end of the book (hmm...sound like real life?). He's still as lazy as he ever was. But my kids giggled to read about the big potato and the entire town having to eat it until they didn't ever want to see another potato. Get the book and enjoy it for what it is -- fun.

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