Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all!
Éirinn go Brách!
If you've read my blog for awhile, you know I love a good Saint story. St. Patrick's Day has a wonderful one I like to read each year.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
by Tomie dePaola
Tomie dePaola - whose retelling of the old legend of The Clown of God is one of my favorite religious picture books - turns his attention to the traditions of his mother's people in Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland.
The book includes a biographical story about his life, then shorter stories at the end attributed to St. Patrick (such as driving the snakes from Ireland, or using the clover to explain the Holy Trinity).
The story is engaging, the illustrations vintage dePaola (always a good thing!), and the inclusion of five folk legends associated with the saint just gives the book added appeal. Definitely a title to be read for St. Patrick's Day, which (as dePaola informs us) marks Patrick's death, on March 17, 461.
For a little St. Patrick's Day fun, dePaola has also retold two folk tales of Jamie O'Rourke. Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland.
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
Jamie O'Rourke is so lazy and can't be bothered to ever help his poor overworked wife around their farm. But one chance moment he meets a leprechaun and Jamie ends up with the biggest potato ever grown in all the world. But what do you do with that large of a potato? Read the fun story of how it impacts not only Jamie but the entire village!
Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka
Lazy Jamie O'Rourke is left alone by his wife for a week and he is left to care for the house and the farm. Jamie meets a magical pooka who starts doing all the housework. Jamie thinks he's the luckiest man in all of Ireland. Will his good fortune last? Another funny Jamie O'Rourke tale.
Side note - I love both of these, but my boy was especially fond of the Big Potato, and was frightened of the Pooka, so we rarely ever read that one.
Fin M'Coul and the Giant of Knockmay Hill
Fin is another popular character from Irish folklore. In fact Fin is responsible for much of the geography of Ireland and Scotland.
In this story he is working on the causeway between Ireland and Scotland, and has to face his foe, the giant Cucullin. But Fin has his wife Oonah on his side, and that is his advantage.
If you do, please send one to me. I love this little guy.