At this time of the year, the young reader is inundated by books about St. Patrick’s Day, and by extension, Ireland. There are plenty of tomes abounding with leprechauns, Blarney Stones and shamrocks. They may be fun, but by themselves they can present a very shallow picture of a culture that is rich in heritage but marred by tragedy.
Here are some reads that might add depth to a young reader’s study of Ireland. And enjoy others that make for fun bedtime stories.
Black Potatoes, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A Pot o’ Gold, selected and adapted by Kathleen Krull; illustrated by David McPhail
After so much “heavy” reading, it might be nice to relax with some “fun” reading and this collection provides exactly that. Here are the leprechauns and limericks, the fairies and the fantasy. Brought together in these pages are legends, traditions, history, poems and memories. Oh, and did I mention the recipes that help you create some great Irish snacks to enjoy with what you’re reading?
Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk, by Gerald McDermott
And if that’s not enough fun, here’s a book about the “Wee Folk” which is a perfect bedtime story for the “little folk.” Tim O’Toole hasn’t been having a whole lot of luck or money or even anything to eat. When he stumbles upon some leprechauns, he thinks that things have turned around. But leprechauns are known to be clever and they like to teach lessons to foolish people.
Tim is about to learn three things: appreciate what you’re given, don’t gloat and don’t mess with leprechauns.
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Scott D. Strawn is manager of the Bluffton Branch of the Beaufort County Library system.