9 Books for St. Patrick’s Day

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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.

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The Night Before St Patrick’s Day

night before st patricks 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.

Green Shamrocks

green shamrocks

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

old lady swallowed 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!

Fiona’s Luck

fionas luck

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

st 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

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

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

the leprechauns 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

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!

st-patrick-and-the-snakes

Roisin

5 Things to know for St Patrick’s Day!

Having grown up in Ireland, St Patrick’s Day is still a day that fills me with great excitement! St. Patrick’s Day was always a holiday and a guaranteed day off school or work, a trip to see the parade and wearing green was always a must! Even now the anticipation of the arrival of Paddy’s Day, fills me with that giddy excitement of that younger excited schoolgirl.

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5 Things to Know for St Patrick’s Day

 

St Patrick wasn't Irish, he was born in Britain. St Patrick wasn’t born in Ireland. That’s right! Ireland’s most famous and celebrated saint, St Patrick, wasn’t actually born in Ireland, in fact he was kidnapped by pirates and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave! Historians aren’t exactly sure where he came from, but they believe it is either Wales or England.

St Patrick is the Patron Saint of IrelandWhen Saint Patrick was brought to Ireland, he was sold to a farmer who put him to work minding his animals. Saint Patrick lived and worked with the animals. After several years he managed to escape by stowing away on a boat which set sail to France. While he was in France, he trained to become a priest. After many years he began having dreams about the people of Ireland calling to him to come back to them. He returned to Ireland as a missionary and is now Ireland’s patron saint.

My freebie is available at my TpT Store
This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Ireland has a female patron saintIreland has a female Patron Saint too. In fact Ireland has three patron saints – Saint Patrick, Saint Brigid and Saint Columba. Saint Patrick is by far the most famous. The female patron saint of Ireland is Saint Brigid. She has her own feast day on February 1st and she even has her own cross. Saint Brigid was a nun and there is a story that tells how she went to visit the King of Leinster (one of the 4 provinces of Ireland) for some land to build a convent. When the king refused, she asked would he let her have however much land her cloak she was wearing would cover. Then king wanted to get rid of Brigid, and so he agreed. When Saint Brigid began to lay her cloak out, the corners of the cloak continued to stretch until it covered huge parts of the land. The king began to panic when he saw this and promised Saint Brigid a nice plot of land for her convent.

There are no snakes in Ireland - St Patrick banished them It’s true! There really are no snakes in Ireland! The legend says that St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland by driving them off a cliff and into the sea. There is a story about the last snake in Ireland. There was a snake who did not want to be banished. St Patrick tricked the snake into climbing into a box, and then threw the box into the sea. This, the legend goes, is why there are no snakes in Ireland. It is because of this legend that St Patrick is often pictured with snakes by his feet.

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This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

Shamrocks have 3 heart Shaped LeavesA shamrock has 3 heart shaped leaves. It really is very simple to draw a shamrock once you know this. It might seem simple, but if you ever find yourself needing to draw a quick shamrock for an activity, this little observation can be a lifesaver. Trust me!

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This is part of my St Patrick’s Day Freebie. Click to download from TpT.

One thing I really enjoying for St Patrick’s Day is making Potato Print pictures. It’s simple and is lots of hands on fun!

All you need is:

  •  A potato, A knife (to cut the potato), Paper, Green Paint & a container for the paint

1. Cut the potato in half. Carve a heart shape into the top of the potato and cut away the potato until it looks like thisMake a potato print for St Patrick's Day

 

2. Using the heart shaped potato print, create shamrocks by placing 3 heart shaped prints beside each other. I love little finger prints, I just think they look so cute and encourage hands on play with the paint. So, using finger tips you could add a stem to the shamrock.

Potato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's DayPotato Printing Shamrocks for St Patrick's Day

If you are looking for more st Patrick’s Day ideas check out:

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Graphics © Krista Wallden (Creative Clips)