Children are excited that☘️ St. Patrick's Day is approaching, and we are eager to learn about the holiday, traditions, and 🇮🇪 Ireland. We started by 📖 reading about Patrick's life and how the day is celebrated with the St. Patrick's Day book (buy here). The text is easily digestible and concise, and the pages are full of information and colorful artwork, heavily accented with color green. Author's full-page watercolor-and-ink illustrations flow logically from one to the next.
The author 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. The author also highlights the symbols (such as shamrocks, leprechauns, and Celtic harps) and at the end, describes some of St. Patrick's miracles.
Do you know why Ireland has no ❌ 🐍 snakes? One of the legends says that St. Patrick got rid of all the snakes by beating his drum, thus frightening them into the sea. ~ St. Patrick's Day book (buy here).
Leprechauns, miniature magic creatures as big as a thumb, are remembered on St. Patrick's Day (buy a book here).
Leprechauns originated from Irish folklore: Old Irish word Luchorpan means wee one. It is believed that Leprechauns make shoes for fairies who in return pay them in gold. So, if you ever catch a Leprechaun, he might pay you for his freedom with a pot of gold, which he hides behind the rainbow. That is why it is customary on St. Patrick's Day to create "traps" trying to catch the ever-evasive Leprechaun! To learn about a "perfect" trap, we read a fun and lively children's book How to Catch a Leprechaun (buy here).
"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!"
Another tradition during the St. Patrick's holiday in Ireland is for people to dress in 💚 green to honor an ancient Irish custom. The custom dates back hundreds of years ago when people of Ireland burned branches with green leaves during the month of March and spread the ashes in fields to make them fertile and green. (Excerpt from St. Patrick's Day book ~buy here). So, naturally, the color of St. Patricks's Day is Emerald Isle. As such, we read one of our favorite "green" books ~ called the Green book (buy here), awarded the Best Children's Book of 2012, where the author pays intricate and satisfying homage to a single color - green - the color of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day.
How many kinds of green are there? Each spread features gorgeous acrylic paintings, describing a particular shade of green: from the lush forest green on a late spring day, to lime green: the fresh juicy green of a just-cut lime, to the incandescent green of a firefly, and the vivid aquamarine of a tropical sea green. The images on each page refer both backward and forward, allowing for a fascinating interplay of shade and hue, from the 'khaki green' of a lizard to the 'never green' of a stop sign. Die cut pages bring surprise after surprise with each turn of the page. This book is truly an astonishing project of color exploration and language.
What books are you reading for☘️ St. Patrick's Day?
Please, check out our entire St. Patrick's Day-inspired unit study with lots of fun hands-on fun STEAM activities here in a post ☘️St. Patrick's Day Inspired Unit Study .