Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato an Irish Folktale

Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato an Irish Folktale

DePaolo, T. ( 1992). Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato an Irish Folktale. New York, NY: Penguin Putnam Berkley Group,Inc.

This story is about a wife and her lazy husband Jamie O’Rourke. His wife gets injured so Jamie had to  find a way to provide for him and his wife. He ends up catching a leprechaun, and instead of taking his pot of gold, he traded the leprechauns freedom for a seed to grow the biggest potato.



Reader who like to read about the Irish; Readers who like leprechauns;

Rate:5; I think the story was very amusing and kept me wondering what will happen next while reading. I also enjoyed the artwork.

Question: What do you think Jamie O’Rourke will do with the big potato?

Reading Strategy: Preview-Predict-Confirm

B: Preview-Predict-Confirm is a strategy were the students will first skim through the book looking at each page. Then they will make a prediction on what words Tomie DePaola may have used without looking in the book then have them put each word on cards then sort them into categories. Then they will select three words, one they feel is common in a group, one that is unique in a group, and one interesting one. Then each group will discuss their three words and why they chose them. Then last they will read the book and while reading think of the words they predicted, then at the end confirm what words were used and what were not.

C: This strategy is good to determine what past knowledge they have and to see how well they can comprehend the pictures in the book.


Strega Nona

Strega Nona

DePaolo, T. (1975). Strega Nona. New York, NY: Children’s Publishing Division.

This story is about an old woman called Strega Nona, which means “Grandma Witch,” and her assistant Big Anthony. She has magical powers but her magic pasta pot was what interested Big Anthony. One day Strega Nona leaves without her magical pot and Big Anthony decides to show the townspeople its powers, but there are consequences.



Readers who like to read about magic; Readers who like the Strega Nona series.

Rate:5; I really enjoyed this book it showed how magic could be used for good. It also showed how to not mess with things that is not yours cause you never know what may happen.

Question: What does a witch do?

Reading Strategy: Process Drama

B: Process drama would be used after the students read Strega Nona and the students get in groups and create skits without using the book for a scripts.

C: This helps determine if the students have comprehended the book correctly. You can tell if the students understand the characters personalities in the book, also works on oral language.


The Legend of the Poinsettia

The Legend of the Poinsettia

DePaolo, T. (1994). The Legend of the Poinsettia. New York,NY: G. P. Putnam & Grosser Group.

This story is about a young girl named Lucida who is helping her mother make a cover for a gift for baby Jesus. Her mother becomes ill and has to go to the hospital, so Lucida tries to finish the cover in time but it becomes tangled. She ends up bringing weeds for baby Jesus instead which end up turning into beautiful Poinsettia’s.



Readers who like christmas; Readers who enjoy reading about different religions and their holidays;

Rate:5; The illustrations were beautiful. I like the moral of the story which was, doesn’t matter what you give as long as you give from the heart.

Question: What do you think Poinsettias are?

Reading Strategy: Internet Investigations

B: Before reading the book the teacher would ask the students what they think Poinsettias are and then have the students form questions about what they would like to know about Poinsettias. Then they would go on the internet and do research on what Poinsettias are, where they come from, and what they may represent.

C: This helps students have a better understanding of The Legend of the Poinsettia, when they do finally begin reading it.


The Baby Sister

The Baby Sister

DePaolo, T. (1996). The Baby Sister. New York, NY: G. P. Putnam’s sons.

The Baby Sister is about a young boy named Tommy, who finds out his mother is having a baby girl. He is excited and can’t wait, he pictures her with a red ribbon in her hair. His mother ends up having the baby and has to stay in the hospital but when she comes home he finally meets his baby sister with a red ribbon in her hair.

General Fiction


Readers who are going to have a new baby sister or brother; Readers who enjoy being the big sister or brother.

Rate:4; I thought this book was adorable. I loved how instead the book was based on the little boy being anxious on finally being able to be a big brother, and not the typical of not liking the idea of someone taking their place.

Question: By looking at the cover of the book how can you tell if the boy enjoys his little sister or not?

Reading strategy: Graphic Organizer

B: The students will form a map with boxes that have setting, characters, problem, and events 1,2,3. They form answers to all the boxes from after reading The Baby Sister.

C: This will help with comprehension of the story, help with following the sequence of events in a story, cause-effect, and problem-solution.


Bill and Pete

Bill and Pete

DePaolo, T. (1978). Bill and Pete. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.

This book is about Bill, the crocodile, and Pete, his “toothbrush” bird friend who become Bills best friend. They even go to school together where Pete helps Bill with his school work. One day Bill and Pete go to the Nile river to play and Bill gets captured by ‘The bad guy” who is a crocodile hunter. Pete ends up saving him and scaring “The bad guy” away.

General Fiction


Readers who like to learn about animal specifically crocodiles; Readers who like adventurous funny stories; Readers who are against people killing crocodiles.

Rate:3; I think it was a good book, I enjoyed how it gives off the message about how horrible it is to kill crocodiles. I also liked how with doing that it was able to show humor.

Question: Why do you think the story is called Bill and Pete?

Reading strategy: Character Map

B: The children would write the characters Bill and Pete’s name on top of two different boxes on a piece of paper. Then they would write information they learned about Bill and Pete in its specific box. Once thats done the student will draw arrows coming from each box towards the next box and write words or phrases that explain how that character feels about the other.

C)Using the character map helps the teacher be able to determine whether or not the students are comprehending the relationships between characters. With this book it will help with see the difference in the relationship between Bill and Pete and the relationship between Bill and “The Bad Guy.”


Pancakes For Breakfast

Bibliography Information: DePaola, T. (1978). Pancakes for breakfast. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Short annotation: This is the story of a woman and her quest to make pancakes for her breakfast.

The Genre: Wordless picture book, Realistic fiction

Grade level: All ages

Readers who will like this book: Readers of all ages will enjoy reading this cute and funny story.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 5; I loved the pictures and the wonderful message that it sends to readers that they should never give up.

Question: What ingredients are needed to make pancakes?





The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Bibliography Information: DePaola, T. (1988). The legend of the Indian paintbrush. New York: Putnam & Grosset Group.

Short annotation: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush is about a boy named Little Gopher and is the story of how he painted the sunset.

The Genre: Picture book, Folktale

Grade level: Preschool to Third grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who like this are young children who want to grow up to be a painter; parents and educators who want to expose their children/students to some form of Native American culture.

Personal response and rating: I would give this book a 3.5; I liked how the story was based around the plant called the “Indian Paintbrush.” I was unsure how accurate this story is to Native American culture and story telling.

Question: What does the word legend mean?