Reading these St. Patrick's Day books for kids together during March is a great way to explore Irish folklore and traditions that go beyond just leprechauns and pots of gold.
I love reserving a big stack of festive picture books from the library for each holiday during the year.
I believe read aloud time is the perfect opportunity to dig further into the traditions behind each celebration.
When my girls would come home with their Scholastic book order forms, there was always a selection of St. Patrick's Day books that focused on leprechauns and rhyme.
But there is so much more to St. Patrick's Day than pots of gold and rainbows. Irish folk lore and fables that introduce Ireland and the cleverness of her people in the face of challenges are filled with so much more depth and interest.
Here are list of some of the incredible St. Patrick's Day books for kids that I've read with my girls over the years. I hope your family loves them just as much as we have.
P.S. Looking for good reads before you travel to Ireland? This list of non-fiction books on Ireland has excellent options for both adults and kids.
St. Patrick's Day Books for Kids
Fantastic books for kids about St. Patrick's Day tradition and folklore.
You'll discover books that feature festive leprechaun stories but also dig deeper with books about St. Patrick himself and the clever people of Ireland facing challenges and making their own luck.
In this bright picture book, nonfiction master Gail Gibbons tells you everything you need to know about this holiday. You'll learn the story of Patrick's life, legends about the saint, and the history of the holiday.
From shamrocks to shillelaghs, Gail Gibbons' signature combination of accessible text and clear, colorful illustrations creates a perfect introduction to a fun holiday.
A perfect introduction to the customs surrounding the holiday-- parades, special meals, and of course wearing lots of green. Filled with facts, legends, and traditions, this book is ideal for kids learning about the holiday, Irish culture, and history.
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.
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.
WELCOME TO THE rival towns of Tralee and Tralah, where the annual St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest is under way. Every year, Tralah defeats Tralee.
This year, though, little Fiona Riley has a wonderful idea that will help Tralee win the contest for sure. But neither town has counted on a stranger arriving—a funny little man with pointed ears and boots trimmed with bells—who will turn the contest upside down!
When it comes to finding things, Finnigan McFee has all the luck. But when Finnigan finds a leprechaun, his skills are put to the test after he accepts a challenge to find the leprechaun's pot of gold.
Join Finnigan as he discovers why the end of the rainbow is so elusive and why a four-leaf cover is lucky to find. "Finnigan's Leprechaun Luck" is an original Irish folktale that is sure to become a St. Patrick's Day holiday favorite.
Jamie O'Rourke is the laziest man in all of Ireland, far too lazy to help his wife on their farm.
Then, after a chance encounter with a leprechaun, Jamie finds himself growing the biggest potato in the world. But what will happen when the potato grows too large for Jamie and the villagers to handle?
When Jamie O'Rourke's wife leaves him alone for a week, it's up to Jamie to do the housework. But Jamie isn't just the laziest man in Ireland, he's also the messiest!
When a magical pooka arrives unexpectedly and starts to do the dishes and sweep the house, Jamie thinks that maybe he's the luckiest man in Ireland as well. But will Jamie's good fortune-and his pooka's housekeeping-last? Young readers will be giggling through Tomie dePaola's delightfully funny sequel to Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato.
When the fiercest giant in all of Ireland comes knocking at his door, what can peaceful Fin M'Coul do to escape him?
An ALA Notable Book, by the bestselling author-illustrator of Strega Nona, Quiet, and many more.
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.
You've been planning night and day, and finally you've created the perfect trap with shamrocks, pots of gold, and rainbows galore! Now all you need to do is wait. Is this the year you'll finally catch the leprechaun?
Start a St. Patrick's Day tradition with this fun and lively children's picture book and get inspired to build leprechaun traps of your own at home or in the classroom! Laugh along in this zany story for kids that blends STEAM concepts with hilarious rhymes and vibrant illustrations!
How to catch a leprechaun?
It's tougher than you think!
He'll turn your whole house upside down.
He's quicker than a wink!
In a faraway village lives a talented little shoemaker—who also happens to be a leprechaun. He keeps the gold that he earns from making shoes hidden away in his home, where he thinks it will be safe.
But one day a greedy man named Tim spies the leprechaun's pot of gold and tries to steal it! How can the little leprechaun outsmart Tim and make sure his pot of gold will be safe forever?
In this original tale, Katherine Tegen has captured the magic of the wily leprechaun, while Sally Anne Lambert's glowing illustrations bring him to life.
Join Papa, Mama, and the cubs as Gramps introduces them to some of the traditions most associated with the holiday, from gathering to enjoy a parade down Main Street to leprechauns and pots of gold.
The silly fun starts with Gramps leading the family to dress all in green, with green cloverleaves to wear. After he introduces the legend of the leprechaun, the cubs dream of traveling to a green and pleasant land... When they wake, they're sitting in their folding chairs on Main Street in Bear Town. and there's a parade to cheer! The parade includes marching bands and dancers; pipers piping and harpers harping; and the whole Bear Town police and fire departments..
The parade winds up with a troupe of bears dressed as leprechauns, each carrying a pot of gold. Young Berenstain Bears fans will enjoy giggling along as the cubs learn about St. Patrick's Day.
Irish fairy tales and legends are full of enchantment, brave deeds and lost loves.
Told from generation to generation, they are as fascinating now as they were to their original listeners.This wonderfully rich and varied collection are ten of the best-loved traditional Irish stories, retold by author and poet Una Leavy.
The Post of Gold captures the trickery and mischief of leprechauns; the story of Oisin in Tír na n-Óg marks the end of the great Fianna. From 2000 years ago comes The Children of Lir … all stories to be treasured for years to come.
Susan Field's beautiful illustrations are inspired by ancient Celtic art and culture. They capture the wealth of tradition, the humor and the magic of these great stories.
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.
This volume of six traditional Irish legends includes stories about a king with donkey's ears, a moral lesson about riches and possessions based on a brown bull, a tale explaining how the coast of Antrim was formed by a giant, and other tales about treachery, bravery, and honor.
Spirited illustrations bring each tale to life, and a pronunciation guide is included to assist with reading the unusual Irish names such as Ailill and Daire Mac Fiachra.
Told for hundreds of years, these stories are a rich part of Irish history and lend themselves to great storytelling.
Someone has stolen the witch of Crookhaven's horse, and there will be no peace in the village until it is returned. So bold, brassy Kate O'Sullivan takes matters into her own hands. But instead of saving the day, she manages to land herself--and her family--in trouble with the king. So Kate sets out to save their hides the only way she knows how--with a good story.
Filled with imagination, wit, and a healthy helping of good old-fashioned Irish blarney, this is a hilarious tale that will keep readers coming back for more.
In this classic Irish legend, two harpists—merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom—set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner—but he doesn't reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.
Celebrated picture book creators Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole have imagined a joyful and fanciful tale with a priceless lesson.
Tim O’Toole and his wife, Kathleen, are so poor they have not a penny or a potato between them. Even their cats are too skinny for the mice to chase!
When Tim goes out to find a job, he stumbles upon “the wee folk”—a band of leprechauns who give him gifts to make his fortune. That is, if Tim can keep clear of the evil McGoon family. . . . “
The telling here has a well-honed, Irish lilt; the illustrations, by a Caldecott winner, are lively, expressive, and well sprinkled with sprightly men in green.”—Kirkus Reviews
On the heels of the runaway bestsellers This is New York and This is Paris, Universe is pleased to reissue another title from M. Sasek's beloved and nostalgic children's travel series.
Like the other Sasek classics, This is Ireland is a facsimile edition of his original book from the 1960s and is still timely and current in every way. The brilliant, vibrant illustrations have been meticulously preserved, remaining true to his vision more than 40 years later and, where applicable, facts have been updated for the twenty-first century, appearing on a "This is...Today" page at the back of the book.
The stylish, charming illustrations, coupled with Sasek's witty, playful narrative, makes for a perfect souvenir that will delight both children and their parents, many of whom will remember this book from their childhood.This is Ireland, first published in 1964, brings the Emerald Isle to life, where the shamrock grows and a leprechaun stands at the end of every rainbow, guarding a crock of gold.
There's Dublin with its bustling crowds, tall steeples, and Trinity College; there's Clonmacnois, the burial place of kings; there's the Blarney Stone to kiss for eloquence, and much, much more in this verdant, friendly land filled with enchanted lakes and mountains that fall steep to the sea.
The wind groaned and swirled that night and likely it seemed to tearthe thatch from the roof. But when the baby gave her first cry, thewind 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.
Brigid wants to feed the hungry, but she is often hungry herself. When a beggar woman asks for the only food Brigid has - a dish of butter - she learns how to open her heart in generosity and love.
This story of the first miracle of St. Brigid of Ireland will encourage children ages 4 to 7 to learn about this generous saint!
More St. Patrick's Day Ideas
Enjoy a fun Irish celebration with easy St. Patrick's Day dinner ideas for kids but don't forget to plan an easy St. Patrick's Day treat for dessert!
Or dig into a pick from the Irish books for book club to enjoy some time to yourself.
More Holiday Books for Kids
I love to give my kids picture books for gifts all year long. Here are some of our other holiday favorites:
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