St. Patrick has always been one of my favorite saints (and not just because I am Irish). Most people don’t realize that he lead a life worthy of the most dramatic reality TV series. Patrick was captured at the age of 16, taken to Ireland and sold into slavery. He remained enslaved for six years, then became a priest and returned to Ireland to convert the people to Christianity. In Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland, Tomie dePaola brings his usual warmth and wit to this saint’s fascinating story. It is an instant St. Patrick’s Day classic. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhaoibh (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)!
At this time of year, it seems that everyone believes in leprechauns. Who wouldn’t want to find a pot of gold?! Along with this belief comes a sudden desire to reenact Riverdance. Even those who don’t have a drop of Irish blood in them want to partake in this celebration of the Emerald Isle. As the old adage jokes, “Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.” I admit, St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays and I couldn’t believe that I found a book that incorporated some of my favorite reasons to celebrate this day. Shannon and the World’s Tallest Leprechaun tells the adventures of Shannon, and Irish stepdancer who learns the value of hard work and determination in achieving success. As an added bonus, the book also features some Irish number words! I hope you enjoy this tale as much as I do.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to crochet. I was fascinated by the fact that a few simple movements of a hook could create stylish clothes, beautiful lace and a variety of other things. Due to my Irish heritage, my favorite thing to make was Irish lace. This particular craft has a rich history in Ireland and is an important part of Irish culture. Recently, when I was browsing amazon, I was thrilled to discover that that Irish lace-making provided the basis for a wonderful children’s book by award-winning author Patricia Polacco. Fiona’s Lace recounts the story of an Irish family who leaves their homeland in search of the American dream. One of the daughters, Fiona, has a gift for making lace, which she uses to keep her family together throughout the book. If you are looking to get in an Irish mood, this is the perfect book to read!