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

12 customer reviews

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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.


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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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: 8.8 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,286,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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 50 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jamie E. on August 7, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Ever wanted to grow potatoes with your kids? Read this with them! Great father/daughter bonding story where the girl gets to learn how to plant and grow their own potatoes. This actually covers a lot of basic details that impressed me.

What I didn't care for so much was the art. Especially the characters (eyes in particular). Too jumbled and just looked sloppy to me. You know it is bad when a few kids in the group you are reading to comment on how they can color better and how the artist couldn't stay in the lines.

I am torn about how the story is told. The words are wrapped around the pictures. part of me finds in unique and created. Yet it also seemed to add to the jumbled chaos of the images and the kids have to work and find the next sentence which could add frustration when it throws them off I learned.

So story is great but would love to see new art style attached.
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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."

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