Maybe it’s a deep seeded connection to my Irish ancestors or a simple love of Ireland. Whatever the case may be, I love to read books about the land of the leprechauns and share them with my children. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some of our favorite books that inspire travel to Ireland.
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Favorite Books that Inspire Travel to Ireland
For the Younger Ones
Finn McCool is the largest giant in all of Ireland. He’s a fierce warrior, even beating the giant Culcullan and saving Ireland from the Scots. Helpful and kind, he helps the farmers and everyone in the village admires him. But for all his strength, courage, and goodness, there’s one thing that Finn lacks. He’s just not smart. And he knows it. When a wise man living in a nearby village tells Finn about a magical red salmon with the wisdom of the world, Finn sets out to catch the fish. And he learns a thing or two about himself in the process.
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie de Paola
Jamie is accustomed to his wife doing all the household and garden chores, so when she injures her back, he figures he’s sure to starve to death. But as luck would have it, he chances upon a leprechaun. The elfin man offers Jamie the biggest “pratie” in the world in exchange for letting him go. A fun read aloud for little ones or early readers.
King Puck by Michael Garland
The happy Irish farmer Seamus and his pet goat, Finny, seek the chance of a lifetime at the King Puck Festival. And as Seamus and Finny’s adventure unfolds, you’ll adore finding the fairies hidden in each of the radiant illustrations. Set against the backdrop of Ireland’s oldest and most unusual fair, King Puck is a jig-reeling, kid-appealing tale of friendship, fun, and fairy magic!
O’Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott
Someone has stolen the witch of Crookhaven’s horse, and there will be no peace in the village until it is returned. So bold, brassy Kate O’Sullivan takes matters into her own hands. Instead of saving the day, she manages to land herself–and her family–in trouble with the king. So Kate sets out to save their hides the only way she knows how–with a good story. Filled with imagination, wit, and a healthy helping of good old-fashioned Irish blarney, this is a hilarious tale that will keep readers coming back for more.
A Fine St. Patrick’s Day by Susan Wojciechowski
WELCOME TO THE rival towns of Tralee and Tralah, where the annual St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest is under way. Every year, Tralah defeats Tralee. This year, though, little Fiona Riley has a wonderful idea that will help Tralee win the contest for sure. But neither town has counted on a stranger arriving—a funny little man with pointed ears and boots trimmed with bells—who will turn the contest upside down!
For Grade School
Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman
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. Beautiful illustrations will attract readers of all ages to this original folktale.
The King with Horse’s Ears and Other Irish Folktales by Batt Burns
Storytelling is one of Ireland’s oldest and grandest traditions, and these vivid tales of far-off days will introduce young readers to the country’s irresistible folklore. Here are brave warriors with superhuman skills, monster dogs with blazing eyes, fairy folk and leprechauns, and the magical land of Tir na nÓg.
Tales from Old Ireland by Malachy Doyle
This enchanting collection of favorite Irish folk tales deserves to be read aloud at every hearth. The larger-than-life characters, dramatic landscapes, and magical happenings of all the tales, including the famous legend of the bewitched Children of Lir, will transport readers to another world for many happy hours.