St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday providing many opportunities to learn. Here are some great St. Patrick’s Day books for the whole family.
In America, St. Patrick’s Day seems to be mostly about parades, dyeing rivers, and wearing “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” pins. But is that really what the day is about?
There’s a lot more to St. Patrick’s day than leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.
St. Patrick was a real person, and that’s enough to get you started on a great day of learning about history, geography, folklore, traditions, and so much more.
Shamrocks and rainbows are fun, but we can dig a bit deeper with wonderful St. Patrick’s day books for kids they will love, and that will also add to the depth of the holiday.
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Books About the Life Of St. Patrick
Since St. Patrick was a real person that had an amazing life, let’s start our journey there.
The best books for kids to tell this amazing story is Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola.
Now I may be biased because Tomie dePaola is my favorite children’s author/illustrator, but this still is the best book for introducing children to St. Patrick and his story.
If you have high schoolers, or for yourself, read the words of St. Patrick himself, with The Confessions of St. Patrick.
Realizing that the celebration of St. Patrick is grounded in the life and death of a person who lived centuries ago is a great place to begin our St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Learning About Ireland |History and Folktales
So know you know more about St. Patrick, but what about Ireland?
Ireland is a beautiful island country with an ancient and fierce history spanning millennia. You can’t possibly learn all about Irish history in one day, but here are few books to get you started.
This is Ireland is one of the beautifully illustrated travel books from M. Sasek. First published in 1964, this reprint has lovely illustrations for you to experience Ireland from home.
Horrible Histories is a series of books by Terry Deary that doesn’t hold back on all the yucky parts of history. These are great for your older elementary to middle school-aged kids.
The History of Ireland is a wonderfully illustrated introduction to Irish history for 8 to 12-year-olds.
From dances and dishes to wit and wisdom words, Ireland: A Very Peculiar History gives a well-rounded look at the Emerald Isle. The book celebrates the country’s cultural achievements and colorful history and recounts the tumultuous political events that helped create the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. A timeline, background information on Celtic names, and a recipe round out this fascinating little book.
S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet is a guided tour of this small island country whose influence extends far beyond its borders. Landmarks such as the Blarney Stone and Finn McCool’s Giant Causeway tell the history that has shaped Ireland and its people. The prose and poetry of Eve Bunting, an Irish-born author of children’s books, bring the magic, mystery, and culture of the Emerald Isle to vivid life.
Yes, there is more Tomie dePaola, but who doesn’t love Jamie O’Rourke? As the laziest man in Ireland, Jamie O’Rourke can be quite entertaining, even though you feel bad for his wife, Eileen. Give it a bit of Irish brogue as you read.
From the silliness of Jamie, you can move to the magic of Celtic Fairy Tales. This book from Dover includes eight timeless stories the whole family will enjoy.
Celtic Tales with illustrations by Kate Forrester is breathtaking. I love books with beautiful, artistic illustrations, and this one certainly falls in that category. It includes 16 Celtic tales from the British Isles.
Celtic Mythology for Kids: Tales of Selkies, Giants, and the Sea, is for kids 8 to 12, and includes 20 stories. What’s great about this book is there are questions after each story for you to consider and discuss, and there is also a glossary for all those unfamiliar words like banshee and brownie.
Finally, Celtic Fairy Tales: 20 Classic Stories, is another beautifully illustrated book. You’ll be drawn in by the illustrations in watercolor and gold by Isabelle Brent.
Just For Fun St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids
So now that we’ve learned about St. Patrick, Ireland, and read some ancient tales, let’s have a look at all the books that are full of fun!
So Many St. Patrick’s Day Books Kids Love
Picture books and reading aloud has always been my favorite part of homeschooling, and St. Patrick’s day gives us the perfect opportunity to enjoy a great story.
Whether it’s a history book, a folktale, or a silly book about leprechauns, you’re sure to find a book the whole family will enjoy.
For more St. Patrick’s Day fun, check out my printable pack for the whole family.