It’s not hard to realize that Irish culture plays a massive role in our family. My husband’s family is Irish, our children have Celtic names, and our youngest son was even born on Saint Patrick’s Day. While we celebrate our Irish heritage year-round, we always look forward to March, when we pull out all of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day books to celebrate the season.
Want to teach your children more about Saint Patrick and dive into Irish culture? Don’t miss our very favorite St. Patrick’s Day books for children and families to enjoy.
1. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland
The story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. After reading this story, don’t miss these Saint Patrick printables.
2. St. Patrick’s Day
In a book similar to those she’s done for topics ranging from boats to birthdays, Gibbons offers information about St. Patrick’s Day in an easily digestible text and a clean, colorful format. She covers the salient details of Patrick’s life–his boyhood in slavery, his return to Britain, where he was ordained, and his life dedicated to the conversion of the Irish–and she highlights the symbols and happenings of St. Patrick’s Day.
3. S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet
This beautiful alphabet book gives readers a guided A-Z tour of this small island country whose influence extends far beyond its sea borders.
4. The Story of St Patrick’s Day
Have wee leprechauns in your house? This board book looks at traditional Irish symbols such as the shamrock and the harp, then moves on to a biography of Saint Patrick. It’s one of our family favorites.
5. The St. Patrick’s Day Shillelagh
Between 1845 and 1851, thousands upon thousands of Irish men, women and children died when the potato crop failed. Fergus and his family immigrated to the U. S. during this time. On his last night home, he cuts a branch from his favorite blackthorn tree in order to “take a piece of Ireland with him on the journey across the ocean”. The branch is whittled into a shillelagh, a walking stick. Within this shillelagh lies the story of the Fergus’s family. Every St. Patrick’s Day, the story of their flight from Ireland is told. Fergus grows up and gives the shillelagh to his son Declan. In turn, Declan gives it to his son Emmet and so it goes, on through the generations. The object becomes an heirloom and continues to be handed down with poetic stories told by family elders.
6. Tales from Old Ireland
This enchanting collection of favorite Irish folk tales deserves to be read aloud at every hearth. Described by Malachy Doyle in captivating language, the larger-than-life characters, dramatic landscapes, and magical happenings of all the tales, including the famous legend of the bewitched Children of Lir, are also brought vividly to life by the luminous art of Niamh Sharkey, making this a book that will transport readers to another world for many happy hours.
7. Fiona’s Luck
The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.
8. Leprechaun’s Gold
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.
9. St Patrick’s Day Alphabet
This beautifully illustrated storybook dictionary explains 26 Irish traditions. After you learn more about Irish traditions, try your hand at some of these St Patrick’s Day snacks for kids.
10. This Is Ireland
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.