My children are part Irish and St. Patrick’s Day happens to be very important to my mother-in-law, the giver of those Irish genes. So, in honor of the holiday, I wanted to share a few books we like to read about all things Irish.
Author: Natasha Wing
This book puts a spin on The Night Before Christmas poem that everyone is so familiar with and switches it up for a holiday filled with green, clovers and tiny tricksters. Since it can be read in the same way as The Night Before Christmas, the story feels vaguely familiar but still surprising and fun for an adult and a child. The illustration all have a very detailed, hand-drawn look so it looks like care has been put into each brush stroke. As with most Leprechauns stories, the end of this one isn’t quite what the children in the story hope for, despite their planning.
Author: Roger Hargreaves
A holiday spin off of the Mr. Mischief book by Charles Roger Hargreaves, author of the Mr. Men and Little Miss book series (Miss Bossy, Mr. Mischief, Mr. Messy, Miss Little Naughty, etc.), this book teaches a simple lesson for kids about what happens when you create mischief for others. It ends a bit abruptly so you might have to explain the message a little more so the point actually hits home.
Title: That’s What Leprechauns Do
Author: Eve Bunting
A story about friendship, duty and mischief finds three Leprechaun friends on a journey to the end of the rainbow. Again the illustrations here are drawn with care and depict the Ireland countryside. But this story also explains the reason behind the journey to the rainbow’s end and provides some “facts” that even I didn’t know about Leprechauns. Keira loves one of these little facts as it helps her meld two imaginary worlds together.
Author: Sally Huss
Acceptance of people’s differences has always mattered, but in today’s world it seems to be at the forefront of many conversations. This book is a book about being different and following your heart. It can easily help you explain how all people might not like the same things, or look the same, but how accepting differences can make people happier. It’s a big lesson to be learned from a thin book. While the book doesn’t provide the entire message, it can be a good start for talking about a sometimes difficult subject.
Title: St. Patrick’s Day
Author: Gail Gibbons
This book tells the tale of St. Patrick himself and was an education even for me. I actually had no idea that March 17 is the day St. Patrick died and since no one knows when he was born, they celebrate him on the day of his death. This book, although deep into who he was, is a great base of knowledge for this day of celebration that’s full of green. It talks about the different ways people celebrate the day and why the different icons – like the shamrock and the color green – are a part of the day. In the back they have quick paragraphs on each of the legends of St. Patrick, which I loved to learn about even if they are a bit over the littles’ heads.
Author: Tomie dePaola
A book about a lazy, Irish man and getting more than you bargain for from a tricky Leprechaun. However, it’s also about using your wits to get yourself out of sticky situations. The book itself is a little long but the story fully explains everything and is about problem solving at its finest. My daughter enjoys this as a pre-schooler but I’m pretty sure it would be too much for anyone younger than her. As an adult, I thought it was a fun, little tale though.