• These 7 Books Will Bestow the Luck of the Irish on their Readers

    Has there ever been a more misunderstood holiday than St. Patrick’s Day?  During our youngest years we’re taught to wear green and pinch, or at the very least give a solid teasing, to our classmates who have failed to comply with this unwritten rule.  As adults, more than a few poor decisions have been made over a pint, or two, of green colored beer.  And annually on March 17th you can count on anyone with even a hint of red hair, green eyes or a passable imitation brogue, to be sporting a “Kiss Me: I’m Irish” slogan somewhere on their person.

    While these modern pastimes make for good entertainment, they have little to do with the origins of the festive holiday.  This St. Patrick’s Day, why not start a fresh tradition with your children and explore a new culture with the historical roots of the holiday.  Looking for a place to start?  You’re in luck!  We’ve got 7 books that are sure to inform and entertain children of all ages with tales of Irish luck, mystical leprechauns and beautiful green isles.  So settle in, put down the beer goggles and get to reading one of these fabulous books about all things Irish.

    1. The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan, illustrated by Nancy Cote

    A little girl’s grandfather is set to play the bagpipes in the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but rain threatens to ruin the day.  Enter a real-life leprechaun in need of just a wee bit of help in finding his pot of gold.  Children follow along on an adventure to build a rainbow and learn about St. Patrick’s Day traditions in easy to read prose.  Bright and colorful illustrations will engage even the youngest of readers of this story of magic, teamwork and friendship.

    2. The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer

    The St. Patrick’s Day addition to the popular “Night Before” series of modern takes on the classic Christmas Story.  The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day has the same whimsical rhyming style of the original tale, tracking the adventures of two young children who manage to catch a real-life leprechaun.  But once you’ve trapped an Irish fairy tale, what do you do with him?

    3. Tim O'Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott

    A modern take on a classic Irish folk story, Tim O’Toole is so poor that his neighbors avoid him for fear of catching his bad luck.  That is, until Tim encounters a group of the wee folk who may just help change his fortunes for good.  Children will be entranced by the fairy tale qualities of this beautifully illustrated story while learning a message of community, appreciation and gratitude.  Full of humor and Irish witticisms, Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk is a perfect book for parents to read alongside young children.

    4. The Leprechaun's Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards, illustrated by Henry Cole

    An Irish legend modernized and updated with lively and colorful illustrations, two harpists set out across the countryside of Ireland to settle who is the best in all the land.  When the mean-spirited harpist comes up with a scheme to cheat his way to a win, a merry leprechaun steps in to even the playing field.  Children will find entertainment in the magic and cunning narrative that is easily accessible for young readers while hunting for shamrocks cleverly hidden on every page. 

    5. Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Kelly Murphy

    History combines with fairy tale in this educational and entertaining story of the Irish potato famine.  Fearing the “big people”, the leprechaun king locks away his people also sealing the luck of the land away.  Young readers will instantly connect with the enterprising young heroine who sets out to free the luck of the Irish people.  Readers of all levels will enjoy the pairing of the detailed and expressive illustrations with the inspiring story.

    While these last 2 books may not be available on our Aer.io site, they are still wonderful reads for parents and children alike.

    6. This is Ireland by Miroslav Sasek

    A travel book geared towards younger audiences, This is Ireland explores the Emerald Isle from the eyes of youth entranced by mystical rainbows and pots of gold hidden behind every corner.  One of a well-known series of “This is” books, children will be entertained while learning about the cultures, tradition and landscape of a whole new world.

    7. Shamrocks, Harps, and Shillelaghs: The Story of the St. Patrick's Day Symbols by Edna Barth, illustrated by Ursula Arndt

    An engaging and informative classic that explores the symbols, traditions and history of St. Patrick’s Day.  Ever wondered why green the official color of the day, or how shamrocks came to be a popular symbol of Ireland?  Edna Barth continues her illustrated series of educating readers young and old about the originals of modern traditions.  Explore and discover along with your child and you may both learn something new!

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