As we get ready to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, you are probably wondering if there are any great books for your kids. Many parents now want to steer clear of the legend of St. Patrick running the snakes out of Ireland. However, celebrating Irish heritage can be a wonderful way to teach your child about their ancestry. Check out this list of books that will be great additions to your library, whether you are Irish or not.
Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk: an Irish Tale by Gerald McDermott
This book tells the traditional Irish folk tale of Tim O’Toole being tricked out of his fortune and utilizing the help of his Little People supporters. The cartoonish pictures are beautifully drawn, and children will enjoy the humor on these pages. It may be a challenging read for the youngest readers, but they will love the story. Older readers can handle the text while still learning new vocabulary.
St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell
Rather than relying on traditional tales, this book tells of different holiday traditions and activities. Not only do the children see a diverse group of children and teachers in this book, but they also see some of the traditions that they are already familiar with at home. In addition, Evan, one of the children in the book, tells the class of his recent trip to Ireland to see family. His family is Irish, and his grandparents still live there. This book is fairly simple to read and piques the interest of young children.
Finn McCool and the Great Fish by Eve Bunting illustrated by Zachary Pullen
Finn McCool was an Irish Mythological giant. He has many tales and adventures throughout the myths, but this book showcases his wish for wisdom. Finn isn’t the smartest giant, but he wants to be wise. He is told to catch and eat a magical red salmon. Finn sets out on this adventure. Eventually, he learns about himself, and the quest isn’t about the fish but about gaining wisdom.
A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski illustrated by Tom Curry
Every year the neighboring towns of Tralee and Tralah have a friendly St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest. However, Tralah always seems to be the winner. This year, Fiona Riley wants to help her town win and seems to have a fantastic idea. An outsider comes in to shake things up for both towns, though. May the best town win!
The Gingerbread Man and The Leprechaun Loose at School by Laura Murray illustrated by Mike Lowery
One of the best childhood tales has to be the Gingerbread man. Run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me. I’m the Gingerbread Man. Well, whether this line is permanently etched into your brain or not, the cover of the book conjures memories of this traditional folk tale. This time, the Gingerbread Man is doing the chasing. He’s trying to catch the cheeky little leprechaun wreaking havoc all over the school.
Too Many Leprechauns or How That Pot o’ Gold Got at the End of the Rainbow by Stephen Krensky illustrated by Dan Adreasen
Leprechauns are at it again. Now, they are wreaking havoc in the town of Dingle. Finn O’ Finnegan cooks up a scheme to get these cleaver guys out of his hair. The illustrations in this book are cute and appealing. The reviews on this book are stellar too!
The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo illustrated by Loretta Krupinski
The knight and dragon on the front of this book are enough to make any kid want to read it. While we don’t necessarily recommend judging a book by its cover, this cover is quite appealing, and the story is familiar yet new, so jump right in. However, don’t expect the story you are used to with the Grimm Brother’s version of Cinderella. First, Disney is usually our first experience with these tales, but every culture has a Cinderella. This tale comes from the traditional Irish version had contains some new twists and turns. Open your family up to a new hero and heroine.
O’ Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott
What are traditional tales and folklore without witches’ shenanigans? This book brings Kate O’Sullivan’s storytelling craft into your home. She is determined to rid her village of the witch’s wrath. However, she makes some mistakes and winds up in hot water. She weaves a good tale and attempts to save the day. Does she succeed? Pick up this fun book and find out.
Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman illustrated by Kelly Murphy
This is another traditional Irish tale that has been turned into a kids’ storybook. This book shows the luck of the Irish dwindling after the Leprechaun King takes all the good fortune for himself. However, Fiona, a strong Irish girl, doesn’t let fate get the best of her luck. Her wit may just be the salvation of the Irish people.
These books are often based upon traditional Irish folktales and fairy tales. These books are great for children of all ages. Read them as a family and plan some hijinks to rival even the silliest leprechauns in these pages.