One Potato, Two Potato by Cynthia DeFelice and Pictures by Andrea U’Ren

OnePotato, TwoPotatoOne Potato, Two Potato. by Cynthia DeFelice.  illus. by Andrea U’Ren.  Ages 4 – 8 (my 2 year old loves it). Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Aug. 2006. 32 pages. Fiction. $16.00

The Short:  This is a great story about an elderly couple that finds a magic pot.  When they drop something into the pot it magically doubles whatever falls into it.  For this poor couple, this means a new coat, candles, money, and even friends.  The characters are grateful and wise and the illustrations are vibrant and charming.  We highly, highly recommend this book.

The Long:  One Potato, Two Potato had me by the third sentence : “But Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady stayed behind in their cottage, where they had little and shared everything.”  They are an ideal couple who doesn’t have a lot, but they still consider themselves lucky.  When they do get a magic pot, they don’t go crazy and get all greedy, they take what they need until they feel they have enough.  There is no conflict between the characters but they are presented with a dilemma at one point which they handle admirably.  This book was also Bank Street’s Best Children’s Book of the Year.  Click Here to see the 2012 list over at Bank Street.

Themes/topics of the book: Friendship, Multiplication, Gratitude

Opening sentence and a 1-2 sentence synopsis:   “Mr. and Mrs. O’Grady lived alone on a bare and rocky hillside.”  An elderly couple find a magic pot that doubles anything which falls into it.

Where Obtained: Library.

FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author/Illustrator Websites:

Available resources: This book is all about doubling.  So you can take any group of objects and start doubling them — socks for example.  Coins would work or blocks — really anything where you have enough of them to double them.


Perfect-Pic-Book-BadgeI’m sharing this post with Perfect Picture Book Fridays over at Susanna Leonard Hill’s fantastic blog!  Her website is an incredible resource for picture book reviews and all things children’s books.  I’m always impressed at what I find on her site.  Please take a moment and check it out.


  1. It’s unusual to see a picture book with the adults as main characters. But, this one sounds refreshing and irresitable! I love the message. And, it sounds very humorous. Can see why it was selected as Bank Streets Best Children’s Book of the Year. Great selection!


    • You’re absolutely right. It is really unusual to see picture books with adults as the main characters. It certainly didn’t hurt the book at all and I think my son and I would enjoy reading even more books about adults. It’s very interesting that you pointed that out. Thank you for reading and commenting! I really appreciate it!


  2. Amy

    This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to check it out! And I feel really dumb for not knowing about Bank Street’s children’s lists, but thanks for pointing me to a fabulous new resource!


  3. Have not heard of this story…that’s why PPBF is so very important! Love the concept of the story…and appreciate the link to the Bank Street book list.:) Thank you so much for sharing! It reminds me just a bit of ‘The Fisherman and his Wife’..but that wife was greedy.


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