I love finding holiday related picture books to enjoy with my kids and build excitement for the holiday. I have done several story time activities or preschool lessons based around books included here. See my R is for Rainbow preschool lesson that I did near St. Patrick’s Day last year. There are some for the very youngest kids up to the more advanced! Not all of these books are holiday specific, but all relate to Ireland in some way.
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–How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace: This book and the next one are two of my son’s favorites! He loves reading about all the different types of leprechaun traps kids invent and then trying to draw or build his own ideas.
–How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess: This one shows a group of kids working together to plan and create a trap for a leprechaun and features really sweet illustrations.
–The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun by Jeffrey Burton: Following the pattern of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” this small board book is perfect for the youngest readers.
–The Leprechaun Under the Bed by Teresa Bateman:
We really liked this story of cooperation and unexpected friendship. A new farmer unknowingly builds his cottage on top of a leprechaun’s home and the leprechaun tries to do everything to get rid of him at first, but then they end up finding ways to mutually benefit each other.
–The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Sean Callahan:
The story of a leprechaun named Roy G Biv who has lost his rainbow and needs a girl to donate something of every color of the rainbow so he can make a new rainbow. Some of the things are hard for her to part with, but she does it so the leprechaun can bring out the sun and keep the rain from ruining the St Patrick’s Day parade her grandpa is playing his bagpipes in. This book is perfect for pairing with a rainbow craft or activity.
–The Gingerbread Man and the Leprechaun Loose at School by Laura Murray: This is part of a series of book about a Gingerbread Man at school, but can be read without previous knowledge of the series.
–The Leprechaun’s Gold by Pamela Duncan Edwards:
I really like the message of this one because it shows a kind man helping someone else without any thought of repayment, but he ends up being surprised with a sweet reward. This is one of my son’s favorites as well!
–S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet by Eve Bunting: Perfect for a little bit older kids, each letter of the alphabet provides information about Ireland with a short rhyming section and the option for more information to read on the side.
–St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell: This book follows a classroom celebrating the holiday (and the same diverse class of kids are featured in several other holiday related books as well).
–Ten Lucky Leprechauns by Kathryn Heling: A counting story with a really fun rhythm to it that makes it a good read aloud, this one is a great choice for toddlers/younger preschoolers.
–Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman: A new story with the feel of an old folk tale, this tells of a greedy Leprechaun king who has stolen all the good luck of Ireland causing it to fall on hard times. A clever girl comes up with a plan to outwit the leprechaun and restore good luck to their land.
–Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco: This beautiful story of family shines a light on the experience of immigrating from Ireland to America and the unexpected difficulties. I love the familial connection the author has to this book and her note at the end.
–The Wishing of Biddy Malone by Joy Cowley: With the feel of an Irish folk tale, I love the ending of this story of a young woman making three wishes.
–Flying Feet by Anna Marlis Burgard: Based on a true event, it follows two champion dancers new to town who have a dance off to determine who will become the town’s dance master.
–Leprechauns Don’t Play Basketball by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones: Not a picture book, but this illustrated chapter book provides a fun St. Patrick’s Day exposure! I loved this series as child and I’m excited that my son will be ready for it soon as well.