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Gigantic Sweet Potato, The Hardcover – September 2, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"I am delighted to find this precious story full of vivid characters and beautiful art. Children will enjoy the story and be encouraged to have delicious fun in the kitchen, especially with the wonderfully nutritious sweet potato!"
--Holly Clegg, spokesperson for the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and author of the Trim & Terrific cookbook series

"A charming tale, cooked up with Southern sass. Made to be read aloud and savored."
--Bruce Hale, author of Snoring Beauty and the Chet Gecko series

"Dianne de Las Casas has crafted another wonderfully funny and lively story. This tasty cumulative tale of the efforts of Ma and Pa Farmer and their animal helpers to harvest the humongous title vegetable begs to be read aloud. When a last-minute assist comes from an unexpected quarter, the bountiful sweet potato yields delicious rewards for the characters and reader or listener as well. Another winner from a talented writer and storyteller. The text is perfectly complemented by Marita Gentry's droll artwork, while Fun Facts and a scrumptious recipe for Ma Farmer's Sweet Potato Pie make for a truly satisfying experience."
--Robert D. San Souci, author of The Talking Eggs

When Ma Farmer tries to pull up the gigantic sweet potato in her garden, it's a recipe for disaster. The sweet potato is stuck! So Ma grabs Pa and the fun begins. This delicious dish of a tale includes Ma Farmer's secret recipe for sweet potato pie. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

About the Author

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, recording artist, and founder of the celebrated November Is Picture Book Month initiative. She hunts and pecks a good story everywhere she goes. Her work has earned rave reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. She performs worldwide at schools, conferences, and special events and is the author of many picture books with Pelican, including Mama's Bayou, The House That Witchy Built, and Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate. She lives with her family in Harvey, Louisiana.

Marita Gentry is a professional artist whose artwork is featured in galleries throughout Louisiana. A recipient of numerous awards and commissions and an accomplished teacher, she is involved in several artist-in-residence programs each year. Gentry's other titles with Pelican include Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear!, Madame Poulet and Monsieur Roach, The Cajun Cornbread Boy, The Gigantic Sweet Potato, There's a Dragon in the Library, and Dinosaur Mardi Gras.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing (September 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589807553
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589807556
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dianne de Las Casas is an author and award-winning storyteller who tours internationally presenting programs, educator/librarian training, workshops and artist residencies. Her performances, dubbed "traditional folklore gone fun" and "revved-up storytelling" are full of energetic audience participation. Dianne's professional books include Story Fest: Crafting Story Theater Scripts; Kamishibai Story Theater: The Art of Picture Telling; Handmade Tales: Stories to Make and Take; Tangram Tales: Story Theater Using the Ancient Chinese Puzzle, The Story Biz Handbook, and Scared Silly: 25 Tales to Tickle and Thrill. Her children's books include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, Madame Poulet & Monsieur Roach, and Mama's Bayou. Visit her website at http://www.storyconnection.net.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Miller on December 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In this charming homegrown variety of the Russian folktale, The Giant Turnip, Ma Farmer is hankering for some sweet potato pie. But first, she has to grow a sweet potato. And grow one she does, "giving it a little more tender loving care." At last comes the harvest, and Ma Farmer is excited. She can't wait to bake some sweet potato pie. But there seems to be a problem. No matter how hard Ma Farmer pulls, she can't pull that potato free from the ground!

Ma Farmer asks Pa Farmer to help. But he can't pull it out. Soon others join in to help, from Bessie Cow to Kitty Cat. They pull and they pull, but that sweet potato is just too stubborn. It turns out, that sweet potato is "some big. No, it was huge." How will they ever pull out that sweet potato? When all hope is lost, and "Everyone lay on the ground in a tired heap," along comes itty-bitty Lily Mouse. Now will Ma Farmer get to bake her sweet potato pie?

Engaging in rhythmic repetitions that sing like an old song, the author recreates a cumulative tale that's fun for a read aloud. For an extra treat, the author includes a recipe for sweet potato pie. Marita Gentry's vibrant watercolors add a wonderful charm to the characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Here's yet another variation of the Russian folktale about the giant turnip. In this story a woman plants a sweet potato that grows to gigantic proportions, so large in fact that she can't pull it out of the ground by herself. She enlists the help of her husband, cow, dog, cat, and finally a little mouse. That last little bit of mouse power does the trick and the sweet potato comes flying up out of the ground. The woman makes sweet potato pie, and everyone enjoys a gigantic piece, especially Lily Mouse.

A parent reader could make the sweet potato pie recipe included at book's end, employing the help of his/her young reader. It would make a nice follow up activity and perhaps inspire a return to the book.

The book's illustrations are large and fun, and the author's vocabulary bank is controlled and reasonable. This book lends itself to oral reading and opportunities for the readers or listeners to predict what will happen on the next page.

Although I enjoyed this book, I would also recommend The Enormous Potato by Aubrey Davis. It's basically the same story with a little more fun and more of an emphasis on helping others, cooperating and sharing with others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dee Long on July 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This beautifully illustrated story is adapted from a Russian folk tale and charmingly tells a tale of everyone cooperating, humans and animals alike, to harvest a gigantic sweet potato growing in the garden. This book is part of a series of wonderful children's books published by Pelican and meant to inspire an interest in fresh produce in kids and how whole foods get from field to table. We love the fun facts and the recipe included at the end to start a good discussion with the younger audience about how to incorporate fresh foods like sweet potatoes in the daily diet. Gigantic Sweet Potato a pure delight!
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