Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato

by Tomie dePaola

readability 2, read aloud kindergarten

This is a wonderful retelling of an Irish Folktale. Jamie O’Rourke is was the laziest man in all of Ireland. He was so lazy that when he caught a leprechaun his one wish was to have the biggest potato in the world so that he wouldn’t have to work anymore. Tomie dePaola’s writing and illustrations clearly show that being lazy and getting others to do your work, may not work out in your favor for long.

In this story, Jamie’s potato was so big that his town had to eat potatoes all winter long. This must have resulted in some creative potato recipes. Make some potato pancakes with your class:

What you need:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 tbs. melted butter
  • milk
  • (you may want to adjust the amount according to how big your class is)

What to do:

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt.
  • Mix in potatoes and melted butter until well blended.
  • Add milk if necessary to obtain a soft, manageable dough.
  • Break off egg sized pieces and roll each piece until it is paper-thin.
  • Cook on a hot, ungreased griddle until brown spots appear.
  • Try eating with some sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top.
  • (makes 6 pancakes)