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The Enormous Potato Paperback – September 1, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-A sunny retelling of Tolstoy's The Great Big Enormous Turnip in which the characters work together and share the rewards of their labor. A plump, pigeon-toed farmer plants a potato eye that grows into "the biggest potato in the world." Unable to uproot it himself, he calls for his wife's assistance. The stubborn spud remains firmly planted, even after his daughter, dog, and cat are recruited. It is only with the small mouse's one-handed contribution to the group effort that the vegetable is finally ripped from the ground. The family shares its harvest with the jubilant townspeople until the potato, like the story, is gone. With cheerful golden yellow backdrops, the humorous watercolor-and-pencil illustrations reveal the chubby characters grimacing as they struggle to free the fleshy root from the muddy ground and their pleasure in consuming it. An entertaining example of teamwork and cooperation, this simply told tale would work as a read-aloud and, with its short sentences, repetition, and large print, as an easy-reader.
Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Davis uses a potato instead of the traditional turnip in this retelling of a familiar folktale. When the eye of a potato grows into the biggest potato in the world, a farmer must call for reinforcements to pull the vegetable out of the ground. Help comes in the form of the farmer's wife, daughter, dog, and cat, and finally a mouse, who adds just enough extra muscle to get the job done. The potato, when it finally appears, is huge, taking up most of a double-page spread and almost burying the folks who pulled it out. It's big enough to feed all the people of the town, who completely devour it. The hilarious watercolor-and-pencil illustrations add a freshness and vitality to a classic tale of teamwork. Helen Rosenberg --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 80L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (September 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1550746693
  • ISBN-13: 978-1550746693
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. McDaniel on October 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
My 2 year old son LOVES this book. What makes it even better is that I enjoy reading it too. The premise is simple - a potato grows so big the farmer can't pull it out so he calls his wife to help and then she calls the daughter and so on. After it is finally out, the family shares it with the town. We love the rythmic wording and watercolor pictures. Give it a chance, it's cuter than these descriptions make it sound.
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Format: Hardcover
My young children loved this book. It has a simple, rhythmic story line that builds satisfyingly to an exciting conclusion, when the family finally pulls the huge potato out of the ground. The illustrations are lively and amusing. This book is just right for children under six. Personally, I even found the unembellished nature of the book refreshing, and I read lots of books to kids every day!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delightful illustrations combined with a silly text brought laughter to my 4-year-old grandson. Recommended!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my 4 year old son. He saw it on Amazon and really wanted to read it. Unfortunately, the story is so basic, it is downright dull. My 4 year old loves almost every book, but this one he hasn't asked for again.
Story: A man plants a potato. It grows too large for him to pull from the ground. (Though why you'd pull a potato plant from the ground is beyond me. Potatoes grow in multiples along the roots of the plant, NOT like it is portrayed in this book. Because of this, potatoes are typically dug out with a shovel. But I suppose that is beside the point.) So the man asks his wife, who, in turn, asks her daughter, who asks the dog, and so forth. Finally they harvest the single, large potato jutting off the bottom of the plant. They share it with the town. The end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had a great time using this book in the classroom last year with Kindergarteners and 1st graders. We created a whole storybook curriculum around it and other related stories (The Enormous Turnip and The Giant Carrot). The kids instantly picked up on the repetition and loved to act out pulling the potato out of the ground as we read the story. Great book that the kids wanted to read again and again!
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Format: Paperback
It's a great story that encourages memory through repetition and has delightful illustrations! I'm so thankful to have received this as a gift, but now I've read this book to my daughter so many times, it's falling apart! I need to buy another one so my son can enjoy it too. Glad to have found it here.
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Format: Paperback
This retelling of the folktale shows what can be done when everyone pitches in to do something that might otherwise seem an impossible task. This is a book for very young children.

DeeDee Fox, author and illustrator, The Ruby Red Slipper
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