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Two Old Potatoes and Me Library Binding – June 10, 2003


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Library Binding: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (June 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037592180X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375921803
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 8.6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,404,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-While at her father's house, a girl discovers two old potatoes that have begun to sprout in the rear of the cupboard. She throws them away, but he suggests that instead they try to grow new ones from them. The story details how they prepare the soil, weed, water, and protect the plants from potato beetles. In September, their patience and hard work are rewarded with a brimming bucket of new potatoes. Several elements raise this story above the ordinary. First, the idea that something originally destined for the garbage can be turned into so much bounty is an important one for children growing up in our throwaway society. Second, it is refreshing to have a situation in which a divorced father and his daughter have such a comfortable relationship and spend their time together so productively. Third, Fisher's richly detailed, highly stylized color illustrations integrate perfectly with the varying fonts of the text and are a standout. There's lots of food for thought here, along with a recipe for mashed potatoes.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for Vroomaloom Zoom:
“The rhythmic, repetitive text and the vibrant pictures against colorful pages make this story a perfect read-aloud.”
School Library Journal

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill McAuliffe on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Personally I prefer my mashed potatoes with garlic and maybe even some herbs and parmesan cheese, and always with the skin on. But that doesn't mean John Coy's "Two Old Potatoes and Me'' doesn't hit the mark.
Coy's simple story is about a father and daughter making a bucket of potatoes out of two rotten ones. But, perfectly matched by Carolyn Fisher's dense and joyous illustrations, it's also about many larger things: the miracle of nature (and sustainability), the challenges of time and patience, the complex intimacies of family, and of course the fact that grandfathers know just about everything.
Given the mashed potato recipe and the strategy for dealing with potato bugs, you might want three copies of this book: one for the kids' shelf, one for the cookbook shelf, and one on the gardening table.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on February 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Two Old Potatoes and Me" is by John Coy, with pictures by Carolyn Fisher. The story is narrated by a young girl who finds two old potatoes with sprouts growing from them. With advice from her grandpa, she and her dad try to grow new potatoes from the old ones.
The rich, colorful pictures have a surreal flavor and an appealing energetic quality. This is a good story about intergenerational cooperation and bonding, and also about hard work and conservation of resources. And as a bonus the book includes a recipe for mashed potatoes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Spudman TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
I wasn't too enthralled with this book after the first reading, but like a beard it kind of grew on me. The youngsters with whom I shared it liked the illustrations and the creative and unusual use of fonts. None of the youngsters with whom I read this book, black or white, commented on the representation of the characters as black, an incidental detail not really important to the story. I found their lack of reaction to the characters' ethnic depiction rather interesting and refreshing.

After my first reading I concluded that the use of shaped, multidirectional text was an annoying gimmick. Yet the young readers seemed to enjoy this technique, and that's what matters. A careful reading was necessary to catch all the text, as was an occasional rereading. This is also a good thing.

I like that the theme of divorce and shared custody is casually weaved into the story in a matter of fact manner with no melodrama or angst. All the characters cope well with the situation without bitterness, hostility or grudges. The young girl is obviously in a loving relationship with both parents and the extended family.

Midway through the book I noticed that the verb tenses abruptly change from past to present tense. This seems odd since the first part of the story is not told in flashback, and I can come up with no explanation for it.

At the end of the book I enjoyed seeing so many of the harvested potatoes shaped like faces. One resembles Abe Lincoln and another looks like Mr. Magoo. In fact, Two Old Potatoes could be used to secretly administer the Rorschach test.

At the end of the book is a recipe for mashed potatoes. What better ending can a book have?
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mcHaiku on January 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is such satisfaction and delight in John Coy's tale. Daughter and "part-time" dad decide to plant 2 old ("G.R.O.S.S.") potatoes with eyes sprouting like Halloween weirdos. Yet even rotting potatoes help illustrate what Life is all about: work, waiting,wisdom.

During the aftermath of her parents' divorce the girl finds encouragement from nature's growth cycle, the advice of a wise grandpa, a caring father. Her personality is cultivated through lessons from the natural world. Then, following the menace of Potato Bugs, there comes the ultimate reward: that crowning comfort, mashed potatoes!

For a time life's problems take a back seat for the reader, too. We see signs that many parents are working harder than ever to achieve strong relationships with their children, even in today's throwaway society. The story Minnesotan John Coy shares is enhanced by the graphic illustrations of Carolyn Fisher, delightfully crowded on page after page. This book is definitely one to keep . . . we need its optimism.

There are reviews that also rate FIVE STARS: read what Grace Oliff writes for SLJ; also, Bill McAuliffe's "The Eyes Have It."

REVIEWER mcHAIKU claims "ALL LIFE SHOULD HAVE A SPRINKLING OF NUTMEG!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By One Potato on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
When life gives you two old potatoes... grow sixty-seven new ones! This is a story about the making the best of a tough situation, divorce in this case, although to this author's immeasurable credit, both daughter and father spend more of their time together weeding and worrying about the stuff they can prepare against (potato beetles, drought) than the unhappiness that resulted in their separation. With splashy, busy pictures by Carolyn Fisher. Hopeful. Believable. Fresh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Library Gaga on May 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read this book to my K-2s when I was a media specialist, and have thought of it occasionally and fondly. By chance I saw it today and renewed my appreciation for it. The simple story touches on many near'n dear topics - I like the thrifty side of getting some good out of old potatoes that would otherwise be wasted. Most modern style books featuring various fonts of differing size irk me, but I forgive that nuisance in this book because the story is strong and elemental.
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