St Patrick’s Day is just 2 weeks away, and shamrock’s and green decorations are starting to fill my house. Having grown up in Ireland, this time of year is always such a fun time! Shamrocks, rainbows, gold themed stories and decorations were always part of the tradition. As was going to mass on the morning of St Patrick’s day, with some shamrock or a green, white and orange rosetta, pinned to your jacket, before heading off to see the parade.
We are all a little bit Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! If you’re starting to look for some Irish inspiration, and thinking about how to add a little bit of leprechaun magic to our day, I have rounded up some books that will help you do just that! You can find these at your local library.
The Night Before St Patrick’s Day
Written in the style of ‘The Night before Christmas’ this is the story of two children who spend the night before St Patrick’s day setting traps to catch a leprechaun. With some cute rhymes, this is a story that could be used to spark conversations about catching leprechauns and creating traps. The ending reflects a few well known stories about leprechauns and just how tricky they can be, even when you catch them.
As a side note, in the book the father plays bagpipes on the morning of St Patrick’s day. Bagpipes that you blow in to are more traditionally Scottish. In Ireland the uileann pipes (‘uileann’ means elbow), are more traditional. The bag of the uileann pipes is filled when the player uses their arm to move the bellows that are underneath their arm. An uileann pipes player can sing while playing. Here is a clip of a young 10 year old boy playing the uileann pipes.
This is a super cute picture book. Rabbit is busy growing shamrocks in a yellow pot for St Patrick’s day so that he can wear them to the parade. But one morning when he wakes up, his shamrocks are missing. He goes searching for them, hoping that he will find his ;yellow pot of green shamrocks’ before the parade. –he’s getting them ready for St. Patrick’s Day so he can wear them for the parade!
There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover
There was an old lady who liked to swallow lots of things – including a clover! In this St Patrick’s day version of this rhyme, the old lady swallows lots of things (including a clover, a pot and some gold), and when she dances with a leprechaun it makes a ……..perfect rainbow!
When all the luck in Ireland is locked away by the Leprechaun King, all of Ireland despairs. No on knows why the plants have stopped growing and no on is having any luck. Fiona is the only one who realizes that the leprechauns have taken all of the luck. She sets out to bring back luck to Ireland. This is a really lovely book, that young and older students will enjoy.
Saint Patrick and the Peddler
This is the story of a poor peddler, a porridge pot, the ghost of Saint Patrick and a journey. The peddler was generous and kind and shared what little he had with others. When he is visited by the ghost of Saint Patrick, the peddler sets off on a journey. This book has beautiful illustrations throughout of Ireland, and is written as a more traditional story both with the language and with the storyline (with 3 dreams and a journey).
A Fine St. Patrick’s Day
The towns of Tralee and Tralah hold an annual St Patrick’s Day decorating contest. Every year Tralee is beaten by Tralah, but this year a little girl has a great idea to paint the entire town of Tralee green. They are sure they will win, but when a stranger comes looking for help, they must decide whether to help, or get ready for the competition. This is a sweet book about community and helping others, and what really counts on St Patrick’s Day (or any day).
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
This is a super cute story about a leprechaun family and their friend who celebrate St Patrick’s Day on their favorite day of the year – March 17th. It’s full of bright and appealing illustrations about the leprechauns as they celebrate with a parade and with family, friends and food! A cute story for little learners.
The Leprechaun’s Gold
This is the story of Old Pat, who is generous and kind and a great harp player, and Young Tom, who is self-centered and mean harp player. When a Harp Competition is announced by the king, both men set off on a journey together. When Tom realises that Old Pat may win the competition, he breaks a string on his harp. But, when Old Tom helps a leprechaun who is in trouble, a little bit of magic is added to the story. This is a fun story that also highlights how being generous and kind is important. The magic and mischief of the leprechauns is also seen in the story. And if you look really closely with your students you might be able to find all of the clovers that are hidden in the illustrations.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
This book tells the story of Saint Patrick. How he was captured from his home in the United Kingdom, lived in slavery in Ireland until he escaped, and eventually returned to Ireland as a missionary. If you are looking for a book to tell the historical story of Saint Patrick, this is a good book for you. It also includes some of the myths about Saint Patrick in the book.
I hope this post has given you some St. Patrick’s Day book-spiration for your storytime and class library. What other books do you read for St Patrick’s Day?
If you’d like a FREE St Patrick’s Day resource, click on the picture below to download my free mini book, the story of St Patrick and the snakes and a wordserch!