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I had a ton of fun curating this epic list of St. Patrick’s Day books for kids for all ages.
It includes non-fiction books that teach about the holiday itself, and fiction books with silly plots featuring characters enjoying St. Patrick’s Day traditions. You’ll find St. Patrick’s day board books for babies, rhyming books for preschoolers and chapter books for older kids.
Choose a few that suit your family, and make a tradition of reading one each day during the week leading up to March 17th. Reading aloud is a great tradition to add to any holiday celebration!
Saint Patrick by Tomie dePaola
Written by the fabulous Tomie dePaola, Saint Patrick is a newly released board book that tells the story of St. Patrick’s life. Aimed at your youngest readers, it explains how he decided to share his love of God with the people of Ireland, and shares some of the legends about him. Before I read this little book, I didn’t know why the shamrock is associated with St. Patrick’s Day!
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
Also by Tomie dePaola, Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland is a more sophisticated picture book version of Saint Patrick. The religious aspect is highlighted, and the text is more complex. This is a great book to help kids of all ages learn about St. Patrick’s Day.
Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling
Ten Lucky Leprechauns is a perfect book to read aloud to babies, toddlers and preschoolers. The rhyming is wonderful, and the book develops the concept of counting from one to ten. As you can see from the cover picture below, the illustrations are adorable.
That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting
Anything written by Eve Bunting is going to catch my eye, and That’s What Leprechauns Do is no exception. Three leprechauns set off to leave a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, promising themselves they will not get into mischief. (You can imagine how that turns out!) Gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Emily Arnold McCully manage to convey plenty of detail.
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever by Teddy Slater
The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever is another fun rhyming book. Join along as an extended Leprechaun family happily marches along in a St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Jack and the Leprechaun by Ivan Robertson
In Jack and the Leprechaun, a little mouse accepts an invitation to attend a family party in Ireland. His cousin Sean tells him that nobody has ever been able to catch Liam the Leprechaun, but Jack Mouse is determined.
St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons
Gail Gibbons is another author whose books will always catch my eye. She doesn’t disappoint with St. Patrick’s Day. It’s simple and informative, like all her awesome nonfiction books. St. Patrick’s Day briefly tells the story of Saint Patrick’s life, and includes the most well-known legends, too.
The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards
The Leprechaun’s Gold is based on an Irish legend I had never heard before, so this book was a great addition to my classroom library. Two villagers compete to see who is the best harp player. When one of the players starts scheming to cheat in order to win, clever leprechaun trickery saves the day.
Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott
To me, the best thing about Tim O’Toole and the Wee Folk is uniqueness of the writing style and the sophistication of the vocabulary. This is the type of book that develops our children’s oral language and deepens their vocabulary. It’s a great story, but the quality of the writing is what really makes this book stand out.
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning is an early work by Eve Bunting and Jan Brett. What a gem for any fan of either one of these two ladies! In this gentle story, Jamie is too little to participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade with his family. You’ll smile at his determination as he comes up with a resourceful way to ease his disappointment.
The Story of the Leprechaun by Katherine Tegan
The Story of the Leprechaun is a sweet little book about a shoemaker who is also a leprechaun. I love that this book includes a cute map of the setting. Kids can flip back to the map and follow along as the story unfolds.
How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
How to Catch a Leprechaun is a bestselling book about the mayhem and mild destruction that leprechauns cause in our homes when we are not looking. Here in the United States, this book has helped to create a new tradition along the lines of “Elf on the Shelf.” On March 17th, parents and teachers enjoy creating crazy messes and leprechaun footprints for kids to discover at home and at school. A related fun activity is to have kids plan and build “leprechaun traps” as a STEM project. (Even if the traps never successfully catch a leprechaun.?)
The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing
Read The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day to discover what happens when two siblings manage to build a leprechaun trap that succeeds! This rhyming story weaves in some of the most popular St. Patrick’s day legends and traditions. It’s part of an awesome bestselling “The Night Before…” series by the author. There’s a “The Night Before…” book for every holiday and every significant event in a child’s life.
The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun by Jeffrey Burton
The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun is a darling twist on the classic nursery rhyme for kids. Bright, clear illustrations along with the lyrical rhyme make this a perfect St. Patrick’s day book for babies and toddlers. And there’s a whole series of “Itsy Bitsy…” board books by the author, so you can find one for every holiday!
Leprechaun in Late Winter by Mary Pope Osbourne
Leprechaun in Late Winter is a “Magic Tree House Merlin Mission,” one of a new sub-series of Magic Tree House books for slightly more advanced chapter book readers. Young time travelers Jack and Annie journey to Ireland of 150 years ago for an adventure that explores the fun of Irish legends while teaching about the culture, geography and history of Ireland. In my mind the Magic Tree House books are the very best series for launching early readers into chapter books.
Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #15: Leprechaun in Late Winter
The Magic Tree House series has a fabulous companion series of nonfiction books, with titles to complement many of the original fiction books. Leprechauns and Irish Folklore: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Tree House Merlin Mission #15: Leprechaun in Late Winter goes along with the fictional Leprechaun in Late Winter. It’s jam-packed with information about Irish history and the tradition of storytelling. With the Common Core’s focus on nonfiction, these companion books are a valuable addition to any home or classroom library.
S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet by Eve Bunting
Another wonderful book by Eve Bunting, S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet has the added delight of being an alphabet book! The short rhyming text is great for smaller children, and the information-rich sidebars make this book valuable for kids up to middle elementary school age. With beautiful illustrations, it provides a quick overview of Irish history, culture and legends.
Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day by Joan Holub
Hooray for St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect book for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. It has fun rhyming, clear illustrations and the lift-the-flap element make this book interactive. Searching each page for the elusive leprechaun also makes this book interactive and especially engaging. And for all its simplicity, it shares plenty of St. Patrick’s Day traditions from a child’s perspective.
St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell
St. Patrick’s Day is sweet, gentle story set in Mrs. Madoff’s classroom. The students have all worn green today and are working on St. Patrick’s Day reports and projects. I love that the children are multi-cultural, and I got a kick out of millennial Mr. Siscoe’s ponytail. This story weaves in St. Patrick’s Day history and traditions through the reports and projects that the students are proudly working on. Like many of the authors on this list Anne Rockwell has written many other wonderful books for children.
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute
When humans match wits with leprechauns, who inevitably comes out ahead? In this story, Clever Tom catches a leprechaun and believes he is on his way to riches. Of course it doesn’t turn out quite as he had planned. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun is beautifully written, with an “Irish” feel to the language the author uses.
Too Many Leprechauns by Stephen Krensky
In Too Many Leprechauns, Finn O’Finnegan returns home to his village of Dingle, only to discover that the local leprechauns have taken over. This is another book that is beautifully written, making for a lyrical read aloud with lots of opportunities for vocabulary development. Be sure to look closely at the illustrations, which add to the humor and are necessary to understanding details of the plot.
Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade by Shana Gorian
Rosco the Rascal at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is #4 in an excellent series of books for kids who are just beginning to read chapter books. In this story, Rosco and his humans go to a St. Patrick’s Day parade, where they have an adventure and learn about Irish legends and traditions.
As a teacher and a mom, I love celebrating holidays with special books to read aloud. I hope this list will inspire you and make it easy to add reading aloud to your family’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions!
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