To bring spark to the end of winter we look to books for St. Patrick’s Day for some inspiration. We talk about wearing green so no one can pinch you, rainbows, pots of gold, and leprechauns! As children often do, they will ask us questions about the “little people” and where rainbows end. It is a good idea for us to know a bit more about the holiday to answer some of these questions or guide children to resources to explore and share with their classmates. I am going to share resources with you organized into two categories:
Non-fiction text to provide background and a bit of science, and then some fun stories to inspire
young readers and writers.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
by Tomie dePaola
This timeless book from best-selling author-illustrator Tomie dePaola recounts the storied life of Ireland’s patron saint, St. Patrick. From his noble birth in Britain, to his six-year captivity, to the legend of how he banished snakes from Ireland, this book is the perfect way to help your children understand the significance of Saint Patrick and this holiday. This is one of my favorite books for St. Patrick’s Day!
The Story of Saint Patrick
By James Janda
Open the pages of this enchanting book and learn about the man who lives in the hearts of all the Irish. Did you know that Patrick was a Roman citizen? Or that he was captured by the Celts and made a slave for six years? Author James Janda has delightfully blended Patrick’s actual words from his autobiography with the legends about him–just enough for readers to learn about the life of this exceptional man.
St. Patrick’s Day
By Gail Gibbons
In this picture book for Saint Patrick’s Day, Gail Gibbons tells you everything you need to know about this holiday. You will learn the story of Patrick’s life, legends about the saint, and the history of the holiday. From shamrocks to shillelaghs, Gail Gibbons’ signature combination of accessible text and clear, colorful illustrations creates a perfect introduction to a fun holiday. A perfect introduction to the customs surrounding the holiday– parades, special meals, and of course wearing green. Filled with facts, legends, and traditions, this book is ideal for children learning about the holiday, Irish culture, and history.
Light Makes a Rainbow
By Sharon Coan
We have all seen a rainbow in the sky. But what makes a rainbow? This book is a must for the children in your class who are interested in nature and science. Learn how light and water make a rainbow! With easy-to-read text and detailed, vivid images, this science reader teaches students important scientific subjects and vocabulary terms like prism, energy, and light waves. The book contains nonfiction text features like an index, a glossary, captions, and bold font to keep students connected to the text. A hands-on science experiment helps students apply what they have learned and develops critical thinking skills.
A Fine St. Patrick’s Day
By Susan Wojciechowski
Illustrated by Tom Curry
In the rival towns of Tralee and Tralah, it is time once again for the annual St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest. Tralah is the reigning champion, but this year, young Fiona Riley has a plan to help Tralee finally come out on top. When a funny, pointy-eared stranger shows up, neither town’s residents know what they are in for.
The Leprechaun Under the Bed
By Teresa Bateman
Illustrated by Paul Meisel
Leprechaun Brian O’Shea prefers solitude, but that solitude is spoiled when a bumbling human, Sean McDonald, builds his house atop Brian’s underground home. Slowly but surely, a friendship blooms between the two in this big-hearted folktale topped off with whimsical illustrations. You will enjoy this one year-round, but especially around St. Patrick’s Day.
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
By Natasha Wing
Illustrated by Amy Wummer
On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, Tim and Maureen are busy laying traps to capture a leprechaun. When they wake the next morning to bagpipes and green eggs, they are astonished to learn that they managed to catch one after all. But what will they do now? Not only is this a delightful story but you can teach text to text connections using this book.
How to Catch a Leprechaun
By Adam Wallace
Illustrated by Andy Elkerton
You have been planning night and day, and finally you have created the perfect trap with shamrocks, pots of gold, and rainbows galore! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you will finally catch the leprechaun? Start a St. Patrick’s Day tradition with this fun and lively children’s picture book and get inspired to build leprechaun traps in the classroom! Laugh along in this zany story for kids that blends STEAM concepts with hilarious rhymes and vibrant illustrations!
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
By Tomie dePaola
This is another enjoyable book by one of my favorite authors, Tomie dePaola. It is a classic Irish folktale
that not only teaches a valuable lesson but is also sure to bring a smile to your children’s faces. Jamie
O’Rourke is the laziest man in Ireland, and his farm is falling apart. When Jamie meets a leprechaun and
starts growing an enormous potato, his luck seems to be changing but could the world’s largest potato be
more than Jamie bargained for?
By Teresa Bateman
Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
This beautifully illustrated picture book features another original folktale perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the good fortune in Ireland. Now it is up to a clever girl named Fiona to outsmart the Leprechaun King and bring that legendary luck back to the Emerald Isle.