Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Since it's Saint Patrick's Day, I figured I'd share some St. Pat's literature with everyone!

Shute, Linda.
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun.
Scholastic, Inc.

Tom is out exploring one day when he hears a click-clack, click-clack in the bushes. As he gets down on his hands and knees to investigate what he hears, Tom is surprised to find a leprechaun wearing a brown apron and three-cornered hat. Determined to find the leprechaun's fortune (pot of gold), Tom promises to himself to be clever - to catch him and make the leprechaun reveal where the gold is hidden. Who's more clever though? Tom or the leprechaun? If the answer doesn't amuse you, chances are, the kids will be chuckling! This is a cute, yet simple tale about St. Patrick's Day that would definitely be a good read aloud!

Callahan, Sean.
Shannon and the World's Tallest Leprechaun.
Albert Whitman & Company.

I was fortunate enough to be able to share this story with a group of 1st graders on Friday. They loved it and eagerly participated in the predictions that I asked them to make sporadically throughout the reading. This would be a wonderful addition to a St. Patrick's Day holiday library collection!

Shannon loves Irish step-dancing. However, all she has to dance in are a pair of old, second-hand shoes and one day, while dancing, the heel breaks off her dancing shoes. Remembering that her father told her that if she is sad to count backwards Gaelic, an ancient Irish language, that a leprechaun might appear and grant a wish. Having nothing to lose, Shannon begins counting and pretty soon, Liam the Leprechaun does appear, and promises to grant three wishes. However, her wishes can't be frivolous! An important message is passed along, and even though Shannon doesn't receive brand new shoes, a new dress and a wig for the step-dancing competition, she is able to make her best performance ever and wins the leprechaun's gold (the gold medal) in the end.

Schertle, Alice.
Jeremy Bean's St. Patrick's Day.
Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books.

Jeremy's class has decided to host a St. Patrick's Day party in their classroom, complete with green foods - celery, pickles, lime punch, green apples, and cupcakes with green icing. The idea is that everyone will show up to school on St. Patrick's Day wearing green clothing. Jeremy is so excited he breaks out his green sweater before the party and wears it ahead of time: as a cape, over his pajamas, and around his waist. By St. Patrick's Day, Jeremy's worn the sweater so much, he forgets to wear it to school and shows up with nothing green on! Embarrassed by his peers' tauntings,
Jeremy Bean, Didn't wear green!,
he takes up hiding in the janitor's closet. However, Mr. Dudley, the principal, who most students fear comes to Jeremy's rescue, offering him to wear some of his green clothing. Mr. Dudley saves the day and Jeremy, in return, invites him to the class party!

This is a simple, cute story and children will probably enjoy it. However, I would say it probably ranks 4th out of 4 of my reviews for today. The next review, The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh is by far my favorite!

Nolan, Janet.
The St. Patrick's Day Shillelagh.
Albert Whitman & Company.

Again, of the four St. Patrick's Day stories I've read and shared today, this is my absolutely, no-doubt favorite. I love the sense of history that goes along with this story!

Nolan tells a story that evolves over generations. Fergus, a young Irish boy leaves behind Ireland with his mother and father, a product of the 1800's potato famine. On his last night in Ireland, he cuts off a branch from his favorite blackthorn tree. On the ship headed to America, Fergus slowly whittles the blackthorn branch into a shillelagh, a walking stick. Years later on St. Patrick's Day, after years of hard work, Fergus passes the shillelagh and the honor of telling its story on to his own son, Declan.
Take this branch as a memory of Ireland.
Now, Declan must continue passing on the legacy. When the time is right, Declan eagerly passes on the shillelagh and his version of the story,
The past that walks with me today will walk with you tomorrow.
with his son, Emmett. Emmett, returning from war uses the shillelagh to help him walk. The story continues on through three more generations and closes with an important message for all readers to consider.
A good story never has to end as long as someone remembers to keep telling it.
And so, I would imagine, the legend of the shillelagh lives on today.

Now, can you see why this was my favorite????

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to Amazon.com.