cover image One Potato, Two Potato

One Potato, Two Potato

Cynthia C. DeFelice, , illus. by Andrea U'Ren. . FSG, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-35640-8

With the irresistible rhythms of an Irish brogue, DeFelice (Old Granny and the Bean Thief ) puts a sweet and thought-provoking spin on the classic tale of a magic pot that reaps abundance. Mr. and Mrs. O'Grady are so poor that they have only one chair, one candle, one tattered blanket and one ragged coat between them. "They dug one potato from their little garden every day, called it breakfast, lunch, and supper, and considered themselves very lucky to have it." U'Ren (Pugdog ) draws the O'Gradys as gaunt yet big-hearted; an indomitable spirit dwells in their skinny bodies. But one thing gnaws at the O'Gradys: although they love each other very much, both yearn for a friend. Then one day, Mr. O'Grady digs up a magical pot that automatically doubles anything thrown into it. One potato transforms into two, two into four, and so on; the O'Grady's meager savings grow exponentially as well. But what the O'Gradys want most is the one thing money can't buy. When they discover they can duplicate themselves, their fondest wish is fulfilled and they re-bury the pot. As U'Ren shows the double O'Gradys arm and arm, DeFelice cannot resist a final pun on the phrase, "Beside themselves with joy"—and after such satisfying storytelling, no one can deny her. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)