Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day. This day gives me a wonderful opportunity to share our Celtic heritage with the children. We are teetotalers here, so no green beer or anything like that, we celebrate with nice Celtic music, and maybe a movie with an Irish theme (this year we will be watching The Secret of Roan Inish), but best of all we have one of our favorite meals, Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and Soda Bread, and some yummy dessert. This is also a perfect opportunity for explaining to children about the Trinity using the same example St. Patrick did- the Shamrock.

This year I had fun making St. Patrick's Day mix Cd's for my friends and family with lots of my favorite Celtic Music. I also thought I would share with you some of my favorite Children's Book selections for St. Pat's day.

First I will start with Tomie DePaola books-He happens to be one of my all time favorite children's author's and writes some wonderful books for St. Patrick's Day.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato an Irish Folktale by DePaola is a wonderful story about a lazy Jamie O'Rourke whose poor wife throws out her back doing all the work Jamie doesn't do, and has to stay in bed, so Jamie becomes worried about what he'll do about the potato harvest and then has a lucky encounter with a leprechaun. Very funny book, great illustrations.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka by DePaola- another story about the lazy Jamie O'Rourke, this time his wife is going out of town and he has to keep up with house chores, but every night he has his buddies over and they make a mess, then a pooka cleans up every night until the last night, and I will leave that surprise for you to find out when you read this fun story , this has a great little lesson in not being lazy.

Fin M'Coul The Giant of Knockmany Hill by DePaola- this is a story about a how the giant Fin and his wife Oonagh trick the bad giant Cucullin. Good classic Irish tale, great illustrations, I will say that some people have commented that they don't like that Cucullin's finger gets bitten off, and that there is some talk of fighting in the book as well as a little magic. This never bothered me or my children since it is in the realm of folk tales, we have always enjoyed this tale, good introduction to Irish lore.

Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland by DePaola- wonderfully illustrated book that teaches about who St. Patrick was, and some of the history and lore that surrounds him. Wonderful introduction to St. Patrick. I enjoy this book even as an adult.

Now for three other books- St. Patrick's Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting Illustrated by Jan Brett- this is an absolutely darling story about a little boy up early on St. Patrick's Day morning, and how everyone in town is getting ready for the parade. Great drawings of how it might actually be in a small Irish town on St. Pat's morning. Perfect for young children, when my kids were younger we read this many times in March, it is a family favorite.

This year I added two new books to our collection of St. Patrick's Day Children's Books- the illustrations were so beautiful they books just drew me in- when they arrived in the mail, I read them right away, and was not disappointed, wonderful stories.

First was A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Susan Wojciechowski a story about two towns competing in a town decorating contest, and how one town ended up winning because of their kindness to a stranger. Cute tale about keeping perspective of what's really important.

And last- Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman- beautiful book- great tale about how cleverness can be worth more than strength, and how a young girl uses cleverness to help her community when the leprechaun king takes all the luck.

Hope everyone gets a chance to read a few of these books, they are all wonderful, and are a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Here are my Amazon affiliate links for the books mentioned in this post.

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