As an Irish Catholic, it would be a shame for me to let this holiday pass without mentioning a few of our family’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day books. I’m not a fan of corned beef, but I do love a good Irish-themed read!
St. Patrick’s Day Books for Families
If you love books as much as our family does, be sure to check out the My Little Poppies [virtual] Family Book Club. We have a great little group over on Facebook where we discuss books and the joy of reading.
Our family loves Tomie dePaola books- and there are so many of them! This story is a thoroughly entertaining re-telling of an Irish legend featuring the friendly giant, Fin M’Coul. For those unfamiliar, in legends, Fin M’Coul is credited with creating the Irish landscape- he’s the Paul Bunyan of Ireland. In this tale, he defeats a bully-Giant with the help of his smart wife, Oonagh. Your kids will be in stitches during the giants’ fight!
I received this book from work colleagues when I was pregnant with Leo, and it is a treasure. Written by Irish-American poet and author, Eve Bunting, this book is an alphabetical journey through the history, landmarks, legends, music, and people of Ireland. This beautifully illustrated story is sure to get those Irish eyes smiling. If you love this book as much as we do, be sure to check out Bunting’s other works- she has quite a few!
I told you we love Tomie dePaola over here! This book tells the story of St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland. St. Patrick’s early life in England, his capture and time spent in Ireland, his escape, and his subsequent return to Ireland to spread God’s word is told simply, making this a historical and yet easily accessible book for young children. My children delight in dePaola’s illustrations. If you like this book, dePaola also wrote a fantastic book about St. Francis.
We received this book as a gift, and upon arrival it was an instant hit. The Irish are renowned for their storytelling, and Malachy Doyle’s book and accompanying audio CD, read by Doyle himself, does not disappoint. This book is a collection of Irish folklore and whimsical illustrations. Your children will recognize some of the stories, like the Irish version of Cinderella, and will be enchanted by these magical folktales.
The previous books were full of Irish history and lore, but this one is just for fun. Natasha Wing has an entire “The Night Before” series, based on the classic Christmas story. In this silly story, a brother and sister attempt to stay up late and catch a leprechaun. Your children will be enthralled with the rhymes, silliness, and hidden leprechauns on each page. Warning: your kids may attempt to capture a leprechaun after reading this book. I am from an Irish Catholic family and I’ve never set a leprechaun trap, or discovered gold coins, or discovered green piddle in our toilet. Folks, I survived! Don’t feel you have to play into that madness. If your little kid makes a leprechaun trap, count it as a STEM project and, when they find the trap empty in the morning, tell them that leprechauns are notoriously tricky.
They say everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Tell me: How does your family celebrate? What are your family’s favorite St. Paddy’s Day reads? Share here!
May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.
~ Irish saying