St. Patrick’s Day was never a holiday I celebrated much, until I married an Irish man. Then a day that use to pass without much consequence became a day I was joyfully making corned beef, cabbage, and Irish soda bread all day, while enjoying a pint of Guinness. I am so glad I married an Irish man. Now with a young son, my sights are set on making St. Patrick’s Day a day he will enjoy as well.
With us still not seeing many family or friends due to Covid-19, I really have been trying to find ways to make holidays more special at home. Picture books have been a great place to start for this. By enjoying these books in the days leading up to the holiday, it really gets us all so excited to celebrate the holiday together. So here are 7 Lucky Picture Books to Share with Your Wee Lads and Lasses this St. Patrick’s Day:
by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook, illustrated by Jay Johnson
This counting book is my toddler’s favorite of the St. Patrick’s Day books. He loves the silly rhymes and counting all the lucky leprechauns. Each leprechaun has a fun distinct personality, is illustrated with humor, and reminds me of the Lucky Charms’ Leprechaun I grew up watching during Saturday morning cartoon commercial breaks. Plus the repeating text of, “Fiddle-de-fizz, ’tis magic, it is!” is so fun to say and gets quite a giggle every time.
by Natasha Wing, illustrated by Amy Wummer
In this St. Patrick’s Day themed ode to THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS we follow Tim and Maureen as they prepare for St. Patrick’s Day. They set traps to catch a Leprechaun and eventually fall victim to a mischievous leprechaun’s tricks. My son and I had a blast reading this while trying to find the sneaky leprechaun that hides on most pages.
by Katherine Tegen, illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert
In this origin story, the Leprechaun is a fairy cobbler who is paid for his services in gold coins that he keeps in a pot at his home. Until one day, a man named Tim captures the leprechaun and tries to take his gold. All your leprechaun questions, including why you can now only find the leprechaun’s gold at the end of the rainbow, will be answered in this whimsical tale. Perhaps with an origin story of his own the leprechaun may soon get the Hollywood Marvel movie treatment too. We’ll be seeing him battle with magic and crafty tricks alongside Captain America, the Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Wanda, and more.
by Tomie DePaola
In this Irish folktale, Jamie is a lazy farmer, who lets his wife do all the planting and farm work, until one day she gets hurt. But instead of just doing the work himself, Jamie traps a leprechaun. Though this leprechaun convinces Jamie to take a seed to grow the biggest pratie (potato) in the world instead of his pot of gold. This story is silly and fun, but I am not sure Jamie actually learns any lesson about laziness. Perhaps the lesson to the reader is, don’t run a farm with a lazy person. However, the real fun of this book for us is trying to master an Irish accent while reading it aloud. My awful accent gets lots of laughs.
by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Maybe it’s the feminist in me, but this one is my favorite of all the St. Patrick’s Day books. Of course the only human in all these books to outsmart a leprechaun, and the leprechaun king at that, is a young woman. Plus, in this Irish fairy tale, Fiona saves all of Ireland from famine. The illustrations are breathtaking too. Get this absolutely magical book now!
by Sue Fliess, illustrated by Emma Randall
This rhyming book is equal parts leprechaun lore, children having St. Patrick’s Day fun, and step-by-step trap making instructions. I love the illustrations of the kids in this. They are having so much fun celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. If you are planning on trapping a leprechaun this St. Patrick’s Day, this book and the next are essential reading. Though similar they each provide very different and important takes on this St. Patrick’s Day tradition.
by Adam Wallace, illustrated by Andy Elkerton
The title is a bit of a false advertisement, as there are no step-by-step instructions here. But, you do giggle along, as you learn the leprechaun in this rhyming book is able to outsmart the simplest to the most advanced leprechaun traps. However, the book will still hopefully invigorate your young readers to try catching this snarky, overly confident leprechaun, with his closing words. I can’t wait to see all your traps.
Though I am pretty sure these books alone will set the tone for a fantastical St. Patrick’s Day, I also put together a fun and easy color sorting rainbow craft at the top of the month. I drew a rainbow, pot of gold, and cloud on a piece of contact paper, and then taped it to the wall sticky side out. I let my son have fun tearing up pieces of colored paper, I cut out a brown pot and yellow coins, and gathered some cotton balls. Then my son, with some help from me, sorted the colors and stuck them on the wall to color-in the rainbow. He stuck on the cotton balls for the cloud, and assembled the pot of gold on the wall like a puzzle. My son worked on this for days adding more colors to the rainbow in between other activities. It was a ton of time-filling fun.
I know we are starting to see the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ or perhaps ‘the gold at the end of the rainbow’ with the pandemic right now, but these past few weeks of Covid fatigue have been hard for me. Therefore, I am definitely looking forward to a little St. Patrick’s Day fun. I hope you have a happy-go-lucky day with your family and please share with me in the comments or on the socials @kidcontentnow your leprechaun traps, if you dare to try and catch one.