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One Potato, Two Potato Hardcover – August 8, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (August 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374356408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374356408
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–DeFelice employs her considerable storytelling skills to give an old Chinese folktale an Irish twist. Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady are so poor that they have only one of everything, and the little they have is raggedy at that. With only one potato to share for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's no wonder they are so skinny they [can] sit side by side on one chair…. But when Mr. O'Grady finds an old pot in his field and drops their last potato into it, the couple's fortunes change. One potato becomes two, and the pot continues to double whatever is placed in it. When Mrs. O'Grady accidentally falls into it and two Mrs. O'Gradys emerge, she comes up with an ingenious idea that brings lasting joy to her and her husband. U'Ren's large pen-and-gouache illustrations infuse the couple's grim situation with humor. The two are so tall and thin that they seem to be elastic. And the scene in which skinny legs are sticking out of the pot and then pulled out is hilarious. Their walls are full of cracks, their blankets are full of holes, but their hearts are full of love and generosity. An entertaining tale that pairs well with Lily Toy Hong's Two of Everything (Albert Whitman, 1993).–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A whimsical and odd approach to the magic pot story. Mr and Mrs. O'Grady, their children grown and gone, live frugally: they share their one chair, and one blanket, and take turns wearing their one winter coat. Each day they dig up the one potato they share for meals. They only long, each of them, for one friend besides each other to talk with. One day Mr. O'Grady finds the last potato--and a big black pot. They put their last potato in it, and suddenly there are two! Even their single candle and gold coin are doubled. When Mrs. O'Grady accidentally falls into the pot, Mr. O'Grady pulls out two. They convince him to jump in himself, so there are two of him. Then they bury the magic pot so others will find the joy of it and live content with enough for all. The pictures are all angles and curves: U'Ren uses strong color and line to delineate the spindly couple and their threadbare surroundings. Children (or more likely adults) may wonder about the story's cloning aspect, but enchantment will win the day. GraceAnne DeCandido
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 13 customer reviews
And it is a fun one to read out loud.
HB
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady were so skinny that they could sit side by side on their only chair to share their one potato for dinner.
J. Grambo
Andrea U'Ren's large pen and gouache illustrations are wonderfully captivating.
Spudman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Marci Twain on January 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. The story sounded a lot like one I had heard as a kid many years ago, but this one was different. It had a sweeter ending. It is 30 pages long with pretty good text and very good illustrations.

The story is about an old husband-wife farming team who is poor and frugal. One day when their food supply was about to run out they found a large magical iron pot buried on their land which duplicates whatever is put into it. They put some necessaries in the pot and some money - out came twice as much as was put in. The most interesting thing was that the pot worked on people just as it did on things.

I probably would have liked the book better if the main characters had not been so poor and simple. I did not see the point in it. But they seemed like such nice people. 5 stars!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Beth P. Lunsford on August 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
One Potato, Two Potato is exactly the kind of book I love using with my students! It pulls them in and keeps them guessing and excited til the end. I always know Mrs. DeFelice's picture books are kid friendly and fun to share!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Noles on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a sweet story of love and caring with a surprising magical element. The illustrations by Andrea U'Ren support and carry the story beautifully. A delightful book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With its large pages and oversized characters, this book begs to be read to or shared with a group of youngsters. Some of the sentences are lengthy and complex in structure, but the understandable vocabulary and repetition of important words makes the story easy to understand and follow. Some of the more difficult words contained therein are: raggedy, weevil, pretended, memories, garden, curious, exclaimed, oughtn't, trembling, mattress, excitement, packages, difference, moaned, and entomologist. Just kidding about that last one. This uncomplicated story is well within the listening comprehension parameters of the target age group, but precious few first or second graders could read One Potato, Two Potato independently. This is a great book for kindling rich discussion of human nature and motivations. A teacher or parent could stop the story at several critical points in the plot and ask his or her listeners to make predictions.

Andrea U'Ren's large pen and gouache illustrations are wonderfully captivating. Her use of subdued, earth colors and vast expanses of bare walls and floor reinforce the story text. Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady, impossibly tall and lanky with spindly, Olive Oyl legs, have large expressive faces that convey warmth, mutual love, and subtle degrees of sadness, pain, and joy.

Potatoes are abundant in this tater intense book. Almost every page features potatoes represented verbally, graphically, or both.

Students from 5 to 13 with whom I shared this book were drawn to its quirkily fashioned characters and classic storyline. Even one who has reached old fartdom, like this writer, can appreciate and enjoy the craft of the artist and the story telling wizardry of the author. I especially like the generosity, thoughtfulness and lack of greed or excess shown by the book's characters. The author's use of humor is unassuming, yet effective. There's much to like about One Potato, Two Potato. I recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Grambo on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady were so skinny that they could sit side by side on their only chair to share their one potato for dinner. They were so poor that they only had one raggedy coat, which they took turns wearing in the winter.

Then came the day when Mr. O'Grady dug the last potato from his garden, and underneath that potato....why, it was a pot! He toted it home, and the O'Gradys soon discovered that it was not an ordinary pot.

Delightful pen and gouache illustrations add to this cheerful folktale. Ages. 3-8.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca Howell on June 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady lived a very simple life. They were so poor, they had to share everything: one holy blanket, one chair, and a single potato which would serve as breakfast, lunch and dinner. Despite their lack of material wealth, they were happy and content. The only element missing from each of their lives was a friend. A magic pot provided them with the necessities of life and friends as well.
The O'Gradys were kind, loving, people who could have become rich, but chose instead, to share their good fortune by reburying the pot for someone else in need to find.
I enjoyed this refreshing twist, a good story to discuss what is really important in life: friends, family and thinking of others.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady dirt poor and have to share all their raggedy belongings - one potato a day, one blanket, etc. Yet all they want in life is one friend apiece, so when a magic pot unearthed in the garden produces double of everything, their wishes seem to come true - or do they? Andrea U'Ren's drawings are a fun accompaniment to an unexpected largess and dilemma.
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