St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and that means it is time for shamrocks, rainbows, leprechauns and pots of gold. Besides being Irish, I also enjoy the holiday because I love the bright colors of St. Patrick’s Day, especially after the gray and snowy days of January and February. To get you in the spirit, I gathered this list of great books on leprechauns, luck and lots of mischief!
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Can you trap a leprechaun?
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day was written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Amy Wummer. Like her New Years Eve story, which I have recommended before, this one puts another festive spin on Clement Clarke Moore’s The Night Before Christmas. In this story, Tim and Maureen are a young brother and sister who hope to catch a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day. They set up traps before bed, and they are surprised the next morning to discover that they have captured one! Can they convince him to tell them where his gold is? This is a very cute story with vibrant illustrations that kids will love!
How to Catch a Leprechaun was written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton. This quick rhyming story follows a tricky leprechaun while he moves from house to house, wreaking havoc and avoiding clever traps. The illustrations are bright and colorful and also show a lot of creative ways that kids may try to catch a leprechaun. Kids will love looking at all the ways the leprechaun causes trouble while the ending leaves an opening for them to create their own clever leprechaun traps!
Can you outsmart a leprechaun?
Fiona’s Luck was written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Kelly Murphy. This is the story of Fiona, a smart little girl who lives in Ireland. When the greedy leprechaun king decides that humans have too much of the leprechaun’s luck, he orders it to be gathered up and hidden away. As Ireland falls into despair with no luck, no food and no milk, Fiona decides to match wits with the king and try to win the luck back. This is a great story about the importance of using your smarts to win a battle. Fiona is a strong role model for young girls, as she isn’t afraid to go after what she wants, and she also uses her intelligence to get it! The pictures are striking and the story is a good lesson, although it is a longer one, so it may be better for older kids.
The Story of the Leprechaun was written by Katherine Tegen and illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert. This book tells the story of a little leprechaun shoemaker whose shoes are desired by everyone. He collects gold as payment for his shoes, and keeps it in a pot. When a greedy man named Tim comes to the leprechaun for shoes, he decides to try to steal the gold. The leprechaun decides he must hide his gold and trick Tim. This is a cute introduction to leprechauns while giving a great reason behind the idea that there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. The illustrations are cute and colorful, and kids of all ages will enjoy this story.
Having fun with leprechauns
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever was written by Teddy Slater and illustrated by Ethan Long. This story follows a leprechaun family as they celebrate the holiday with a parade, a feast and some festive music. The peppy rhyming pattern and bright and bold illustrations will entertain even very young readers while introducing them to some of the traditions of the holiday.
That’s What Leprechauns Do was written by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. This story follows three leprechauns as they go on a mission to bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. However, these tricky leprechauns just can’t help but cause a little mischief along the way! Kids will love the little leprechauns and the jokes they play. The illustrations are colorful and entertaining, and the story ends with a challenge to kids that there is gold waiting out there for the right person to find!
Ten Lucky Leprechauns was written by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook and illustrated by Jay Johnson. This is a great counting story for young readers. The bright and cheerful illustrations add to the peppy rhyming text. In this fun tale of friendship, kids will count from 1 to 10, while they see some familiar symbols of St. Patrick’s Day.
Learning the traditions and symbols of the holiday
Jack and the Leprechaun was written by Ivan Robertson and illustrated by Katy Bratun. This story follows Jack Mouse as he travels to Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with his cousin Sean. While Sean introduces Jack to the symbols of St. Patrick’s Day, he tells him to keep an eye out for Liam the Leprechaun. Jack is determined to catch him, so he can get his pot of gold. This is a great introduction to many of the traditions behind St. Patrick’s Day, told through adorable illustrations and a cute story. Kids will enjoy learning some Gaelic words and phrases, as well as the meaning behind some of the traditions and symbols of the holiday.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland was written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. (If you are a regular reader of this blog, you knew I had to include one of his!). This book follows the story of Patrick, from his birth to his reported miracles. The story is illustrated in Tomie dePaola’s classic style, and the text is simple enough for younger readers to understand. This is a great book to introduce readers to the religious background of the holiday.
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday full of music, food and colorful symbols. For some fun activities for the holiday, check out my previous post on another great St. Patrick’s Day read The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow written by Sean Callahan and illustrated by Nancy Cote. Do you have a favorite St. Patrick’s Day book in your family? Please share in the comments so I can expand our library!