Book Corner: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day With These Picture Books

If you are getting ready to wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, Central Rappahannock Regional Library has additional ways to help you celebrate. Use Mango Languages to learn helpful Irish phrases, and, if you have a child in your life, watch CRRL librarian Katie present a special Grow A Reader class celebrating St., opens a new window Patrick’s, opens a new window Day, opens a new window with stories, songs and rhymes. The library also has books for children of all ages to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, opens a new window with a silly story or learn more about Irish history.

Finn McCool and the Great Fish, opens a new window by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Zachary Pullen
Finn McCool is Ireland’s most famous giant, with a reputation for being equally kind and strong. When he overhears people say he is not very bright, he feels bad and asks an old man about the source of wisdom. The old man says that Finn will gain wisdom if he catches and eats a red salmon. Finn catches the fish but is too softhearted to eat it. Instead, he releases it, pricking his finger on the hook in the process. When Finn puts his bleeding finger in his mouth, something magical happens, and the “secret of wisdom” enters him.

Fiona's Lace, opens a new window by Patricia Polacco
Author Patricia Polacco tells the story of her own ancestors who lived in a poor village in Ireland. When the local mill closes and there is no work to support them, Polacco’s great-great-grandmother, Fiona, and her family immigrate to the United States. After a long journey by boat and train, the family arrives in Chicago, where the parents work for a wealthy family who has paid for their travel costs. Fiona, who had learned the art of lacemaking, makes and sells her handmade lace to help support her family. When a tragedy occurs, Fiona’s lace plays an even more important role in the family’s survival.

Hooray For St. Patrick's Day!, opens a new window by Joan Holub, illustrated by Paul Meisel
A group of children have fun together on St. Patrick’s Day as they explore a toy chest that has bagpipes, a harp, and clothes and hats in shades of green. They put on a puppet show about Saint Patrick and cut out shamrocks from green paper. After decking themselves out from head to toe, they have a St. Patrick’s Day parade to the park, where they eat a picnic lunch of green grapes, green apples and Irish stew, then end their day with a leprechaun hunt.

Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase, opens a new window by James Dean
When Pete’s teacher tells his class that catching a leprechaun on St. Patrick’s Day will bring good luck, everyone in class wants one. All of his friends need good luck for one reason or another: an upcoming test, a band recital, a tennis match. Pete sets out to catch a leprechaun to help his friends. He tries a net and a trap, but the leprechaun always escapes. When Pete trails the leprechaun to his secret hideout and finally catches him, the leprechaun tells him that Pete and his friends already have the true source of luck: good friends who help each other. Rather than depending on the leprechaun, Pete brings his friends the luck they need by helping them study, rehearse and practice, and Pete learns that “the luck that you make beats luck that you take.”

St. Patrick's Day, opens a new window by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell
A classroom of children celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by learning about Ireland’s history, dancing to traditional Irish music and planting shamrocks. For one boy in the class, St. Patrick’s Day is extra special, as he was born in Ireland. His family celebrates even more after school by baking soda bread and sharing it with a neighbor.

Darcie Caswell is the Youth Services Coordinator at CRRL. This column originally appeared in The Free Lance-Star newspaper.