10 Great Saint Patrick’s Day Children’s Books

img_5455Weekly Trip to the Library

Saint Patrick’s Day is today in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. What began as a religious feast day in the 17th century has evolved into a variety of festivals across the globe celebrating Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, and a whole lot of green.

Here are 10 great children’s books about Saint Patrick’s Day:

img_54411. The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day

Natasha Wing puts an Irish twist on a Christmas classic. It’s the night before St. Patrick’s Day, and Tim and Maureen are wide awake setting traps to catch a leprechaun! When they wake the next morning to the sound of their dad playing the bagpipes and the smell of their mom cooking green eggs, they’re shocked to find that they’ve actually caught a leprechaun. But will they be able to find his pot of gold?

img_54422. Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland

Tomie dePaola tells the story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland.

img_54433. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover!

There was an Old Lady who swallowed things over and over, and now author Lucille Colandro brings the Old Lady back to swallow a clover! That lovely old lady has returned just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Now she’s swallowing items to make the perfect rainbow to hide a pot of gold.

img_54444. How to Catch a Leprechaun

Perfect for four- to ten-year-old kids, Adam Wallace writes this fun book. You’ve been planning night and day, and finally you’ve created the perfect trap! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you’ll finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick’s Day tradition with this fun and lively children’s book.

“How to catch a leprechaun?
It’s tougher than you think!
He’ll turn your whole house upside down.
He’s quicker than a wink!”

img_54455. Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk

Gerald McDermott tells this story about Tim O’Toole and his wife, Kathleen, are so poor they have not a penny or a potato between them. Even their cats are too skinny for the mice to chase! When Tim goes out to find a job, he stumbles upon “the wee folk”— a band of leprechauns who give him gifts to make his fortune. But, the evil McGoons in turn rob Tim of his fortune, until he utilizes the help of ten tiny men with clubs to retrieve the goods. This whimsical story is full of Irish humor, making it an enjoyable St. Patty’s Day read for kids.

img_54466. The Leprechaun’s Gold

Pamela Duncan Edwards shares this classic Irish folktale, this is the perfect picture book to share on St. Patrick’s Day.
In this classic Irish legend, two harpists — merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom — set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner—but he doesn’t reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.

img_54477. That’s What Leprechauns Do

Eve Bunting authored this amazing picture book that’s perfect for mischief makers of all ages. What do leprechauns do? They bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course. But as Mrs. Bally Bunion’s ox, Miss Maude Murphy’s hen, and Old Jamie soon find out, they can’t resist having a little fun along the way. For, besides burying pots of gold, mischief is what leprechauns do!

8. O’Sullivan Stew

Hudson Talbots is the author of this book perfect for five- to nine-year-old children.
Someone has stolen the witch of Crookhaven’s horse, and there will be no peace in the village until it is returned.
So bold, brassy Kate O’Sullivan takes matters into her own hands. But instead of saving the day, she manages to land herself — and her family — in trouble with the king. So Kate sets out to save their hides the only way she knows how–with a good story. Filled with imagination, wit, and a healthy helping of good old-fashioned Irish blarney, this is a hilarious tale that will keep readers coming back for more.

9. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato

Tomie dePaola shares this Irish folktale that illustrates that taking the easy way out of a situation is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. Potato farmer Jamie O’Rourke, “the laziest man in all of Ireland,” is unfortunately not the brightest of men either. The prospect of a harsh and foodless winter, due to meager crops, and the ceaseless nagging of his hardworking wife impel Jamie to the church to pray for help. As Irish luck would have it, Jamie happens upon and captures a leprechaun who cunningly offers magic potato seeds instead of the traditional pot of gold. The resulting colossal spud feeds the O’Rourkes and the other villagers far longer than anyone could have imagined. Although the comical tone works well here, readers may be surprised that Jamie is rewarded for being lazy. Thatched-roof cottages, stone hedges and sheep dot the green landscape, depicting rustic life on the Emerald island.

img_545010. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story

Linda Shute is the author of this books about clever Tom Fitzpatrick who thinks his fortune is made when he captures a leprechaun and forces him to reveal the hiding place of his gold, but the leprechaun is clever too.

You can purchase any of the books by clicking on their titles above.

St. Patrick’s Day Counting Fun

Creative Wednesdays

Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up making it the perfect time to make this easy counting game. A common symbol of the Irish holiday is the pot of gold protected by leprechauns at the end of rainbows. So we made this simple counting game of putting paper coins on a paper pot.

You Will Need:

Black and Yellow Paper (or print this template)

Safety Scissors

What to Do:

1. Cut out a black pot from black paper and circles from yellow paper to represent coins. (Or you can print a pot and coins from this template).

2. Ask the child to put a specific number of coins on the pot.

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