Children’s books were such a part of our daily rhythm as our kids were growing up. There is something wonderful about how books that are meant for kids offer all of us something worthwhile to learn. It takes a special author and illustrator to brings those ideas to life on every page.
Here is a booklist of some of our favourite St. Patrick Day picture books to read to the kids in your life. Use books to connect with the children in your world.
These make great winter activities for kids and I found when I read to my children when they were young it was a wonderful bonding time for us all. And who knows, you may turn your child into a book lover?
Why Read Aloud?
Research has shown there is an easy way to improve your child’s chances at school. It will entertain and delight him. It will strengthen the bonds between him and you. And it is virtually free. Sounds too good to be true? Actually, it isn’t. The magical method: taking time to read aloud to your child.
Reading aloud to your children has important benefits such as developing a stronger vocabulary. Children learn language primarily through listening. Reading aloud lets children regularly hear new words in new contexts, which builds their vocabulary and helps them develop a stronger awareness of communicating with different words.
When you read out loud to your child it also helps increase their attention span, unlike TV. With TV the images are changing so quickly, whereas with read alouds, reading promotes a slower unfolding of events and ideas. This encourages children to listen, pay attention, and concentrate, which after a while can increase their overall attention span.
Studies have shown that reading to children eases problem behavior and lessens anxiety. especially when started at an early age. Data published by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that three-year-olds who participated in reading aloud with their parents were significantly less likely to be aggressive or hyperactive.
Read alouds build social awareness, empathy and compassion.
Reading is one of the best ways to help kids understand something without experiencing it for themselves. It helps kids discuss their own feelings as well as understand how others feel with all sorts of subjects and concepts, building our children’s understanding of humanity and the world around them.
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You can shop for these books by clicking on the book images below.
Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman
An original folktale full of wit, magic, and leprechauns, that is sure to delight for St. Patrick’s Day as well as all year round. The luck of the Irish has waned after the greedy Leprechaun King has taken all the good fortune in Ireland and locked it away. It is up to one cunning girl, Fiona to come up with a plan to get the luck and good tidings back from the leprechauns to help the people of Ireland. Through clever charades, Fiona uses her wit to outsmart the powerful Leprechaun King and restore luck to the Emerald Isle.
Luminous and enchanting illustrations add to the wonder of this original folktale, that is sure to charm readers young and old who are looking for a bit of magic to spark their story time.
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting
Jamie seeks a way to prove that he is not too young to march in the big St. Patrick’s Day parade.
St. Patrick’s Day Picture Books
Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco
An Irish family stays together with the help of Fiona’s talent for making one-of-a-kind lace in this heartwarming immigration story from the New York Times bestselling creator of The Keeping Quilt.
Many years ago, times were hard in all of Ireland, so when passage to America becomes available, Fiona and her family travel to Chicago. They find work in domestic service to pay back their passage, and at night Fiona turns tangles of thread into a fine, glorious lace. Then when the family is separated, it is the lace that Fiona’s parents follow to find her and her sister and bring the family back together. And it is the lace that will always provide Fiona with memories of Ireland and of her mother’s words: “In your heart your true home resides, and it will always be with you as long as you remember those you love.”
This generational story from the family of Patricia Polacco’s Irish father brims with the same warmth and heart as the classic The Keeping Quilt and The Blessing Cup, which Kirkus Reviews called “deeply affecting” in a starred review, and embraces the comfort of family commitment and togetherness that Patricia Polacco’s books are known for.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
An illustrated tribute to the Irish patron saint from the best-selling author of Quiet, Strega Nona, and many others.
This timeless picture book, available in large-format paperback or as the board book Saint Patrick, is a perfect introduction to important Irish legends and an ideal St. Patrick’s day gift.
Beloved children’s book author-illustrator Tomie dePaola recounts the life of Saint Patrick—from his noble birth in Britain, to his captivity in Ireland, to the visions which led him to return and found the first Christian church in Ireland.
With his signature bold illustrations and engaging prose, Tomie dePaola recounts a number of legends about the Saint—including the well-known story of how he drove the snakes from Ireland, and his association with the shamrock.
St. Patrick’s Day Picture Books
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato but Tomie dePaola
This Irish folktale illustrates that taking the easy way out is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth. Dim witted farmer O’Rourke, Ireland’s laziest man happens upon a Leprechaun and is given a potato that grows to huge proportions and creates humorous problems.
Brigid’s Cloak by Bryce Milligan
The wind groaned and swirled that night and likely it seemed to tear
the thatch from the roof. But when the baby gave her first cry, the
wind shushed to a whisper and the stars began to sing.
Brigid’s Cloak retells an ancient tale about one of Ireland’s most beloved saints. On the day she is born Brigid receives a brilliant blue cloak from a mysterious Druid. Years later, the young girl still wears the now tattered but beloved cloak while she tends her sheep. Is it her imagination that suddenly takes her to an unfamiliar land? Or is it something far greater that leads Brigid to a crowded inn in a town called Bethlehem?
Bryce Milligan’s eloquently told story about Brigid is a moving tale of compassion and wonder. Beautifully illustrated by Helen Cann, Brigid’s Cloak sparkles with the timelessness of legend and the transcending power of faith.
St. Patrick’s Day Picture Books
That’s What Leprechauns do by Eve Bunting
What do leprechauns do? They bury a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, of course. But as Mrs. Bally Bunion’s ox, Miss Maude Murphy’s hen, and Old Jamie soon find out, they can’t resist having a little fun along the way. For, besides burying pots of gold, mischief is what leprechauns do!
From this amazing picture book duo comes a lively fun tale that’s perfect for mischief makers of all ages!
Fin McFoul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill
Fin M’Coul lives atop windy Knockmany Hill, and spends his days with the other giants of Ireland, moving huge stones to build a causeway to Scotland. But one morning, he hears a rumor that Cucullin, the strongest giant in the land, is coming to find and fight him.
Fleeing home, Fin tells his wife of his worries. But clever Oonagh the giantess has a plan— with her wits and her skills and her magic charms, she sets out to trick Cucullin and save her husband.
Full of humor and charm, Tomie dePaola’s retelling of this classic fable is boldly illustrated, with detailed borders based on ancient Irish metalwork.
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