Green
The Hello, Goodbye Window

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka

By Tomie dePaola

While our own Irish roots are still being researched by the family genealogist, that has not diminished our enthusiasm in the celebration of St. Patrick's Day. We fill the house with the lyrical sounds of Irish music, the smells of soda bread, colcannon, and a new favorite this year, Irish grilled cheese (made with soda bread, Kerrygold Irish butter, and the yummy Kerrygold Irish cheese). We also enjoy reading an abundance of Irish folktales, then to cap off our celebration we have an annual viewing of the The Quiet Man (while this would not appeal to kids, you can't beat John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara!). All in all, a very fine celebration indeed.

To help inspire your own day of Irish celebration, we are featuring Tomie dePaola's Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka. In a whimsical folktale, based on Irish lore, the work-challenged Jamie O'Rourke learns a lesson from the mysterious pooka about the merits of hard work. Adding to the charm and imaginative appeal is learning that a pooka does not have a certain definitive form but can be any animal spirit. What fun to let the fun and whimsy of St. Patrick's Day inspire young readers to create a pooka of their own after enjoying this amusing book. 

In this Issue

 

You might also enjoy

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato

 

Fin M'coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill

 

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

 

Colcannon

Colcannon Recipe - Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka - Tomie dePaola - Off the Shelf

Colcannon

Adapted from Martha Stewart's Colcannon recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 3 potatoes)
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 medium onion)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. 
  3. In another saucepan, combine thinly sliced cabbage, chopped onion, milk, butter, and nutmeg. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until cabbage is soft. 
  4. Drain potatoes and mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir together the potatoes and the cabbage mixture. Place in a small casserole dish and bake uncovered for about 10 to 15 minutes, until top is lightly browned. 

Related recipe: Irish Soda Bread

 

Make a Pooka

According to the author's note in Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka, a pooka is an animal spirit who comes in many forms (for example, Harvey the rabbit is considered a pooka). Invite your young readers to use their imagination to create a pooka of their own using one of these techniques. Let your young reader's imagination take the lead in creating their own pooka. Depending on the mood of your child and the materials you have on hand, here are some suggestions for creating a pooka. 

 

Work those fine motor skills by squishing, squeezing, pinching, rolling and more to create a pooka with Homemade Model Magic; one dry, add color to the pooka with paint.
6a014e8a618bd6970d01b8d0835887970c-640wi
 

Explore textures by transforming an orphan sock with buttons, ribbons, yarn, etc. into a soft, stuffed pooka: Handmade Friends.
6a014e8a618bd6970d01b7c6d3cad5970b-640wi

Bring the aluminum foil out of the kitchen and onto the art table and invite your young reader to experiment with folding, crumpling, and twisting foil to create a shiny pooka:  Shining Aluminum Foil Sculptures.
6a014e8a618bd6970d01a511fbde1c970c-650wi

Enjoy the spring weather and draw your idea of a pooka on the sidewalk with Homemade Sidewalk Chalk.
6a014e8a618bd6970d015390762a5b970b-900wi

Take inspiration from this Scarecrow Banner activity to paint a large-scale pooka on a brown paper bag canvas. 
6a014e8a618bd6970d01b8d08b2f16970c-500wi



This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting Off the Shelf!

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)