Irish Tales for Little Ones: 15 St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids

St. Patrick's Day Books for Kids

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about wearing green and enjoying parades; it’s a wonderful opportunity to dive into the rich tapestry of Irish culture and history with your kids. Whether you’re looking to share the historical significance of St. Patrick, enjoy whimsical tales inspired by the holiday, or explore enchanting stories of leprechauns and Irish folklore, there’s a book for every young reader. Our curated list of St. Patrick’s Day books is divided into categories that cater to different interests and teaching moments. From religious and historical narratives without the magic to those filled with the whimsy of folklore, these selections will help you find the perfect story to celebrate the holiday in a way that aligns with your family’s values.

History of St. Patrick’s Day Books

Explore the origins and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day with these informative and engaging reads.


1. The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patricia A. Pingry simplifies the story of Saint Patrick for young children, using short sentences and vibrant illustrations. It connects today’s celebrations with the historical figure of Saint Patrick, making it accessible to toddlers. This book is perfect for parents looking to introduce the holiday’s history and significance in a digestible format for little ones. It’s a great way to start a conversation about the values of kindness and bravery from a young age.

Lessons:  Kids will learn about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating Irish culture and the history of Saint Patrick in an accessible way.

Best for Ages:  2 – 6 years old

Buy ‘The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day’ on Amazon


2. St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons dives into the history and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day with detailed illustrations and fascinating facts. Gibbons’ approachable narrative explains the significance of the shamrock, parades, and other customs, making it engaging for elementary-aged children. This book is an excellent resource for parents and educators looking to provide a comprehensive overview of the holiday. It encourages curiosity about cultural traditions and the story behind the celebrations.

Lessons:  Children are introduced to Irish culture, the historical significance of St. Patrick’s Day, and the traditions surrounding this festive holiday.

Best for Ages:  3 – 7 years old

Buy ‘St. Patrick’s Day’ on Amazon


3. Saint Patrick the Forgiver by Ned Bustard combines the historical account of Saint Patrick with the legends that surround this iconic figure in a beautifully illustrated and rhyming narrative. This book not only teaches about the life and mission of Saint Patrick but also conveys messages of forgiveness and faith. It’s a wonderful choice for families seeking to delve deeper into the spiritual aspects of the holiday. The engaging rhymes and striking illustrations make it a captivating read for both children and adults.

Lessons: Offers a blend of history and legend, teaching about forgiveness, faith, and the impactful story of Saint Patrick’s mission in Ireland.

Best for Ages: 4 – 8 years old

 Buy ‘Saint Patrick the Forgiver’ on Amazon


4. Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola provides a detailed look at Saint Patrick’s life, from his kidnapping to his role in spreading Christianity across Ireland. DePaola’s storytelling, paired with his signature illustrations, makes this book a treasure for those wishing to learn more about the patron saint of Ireland. This narrative not only educates but also inspires with its portrayal of Patrick’s dedication and miracles. It’s an ideal read for children interested in history and the origins of St. Patrick’s Day.

Lessons: Provides insights into the life of Saint Patrick and the meaning behind the holiday, emphasizing themes of faith and perseverance.

Best for Ages: 5 – 8 years years old

Buy ‘Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland’ on Amazon

St. Patrick’s Day Inspired Stories

Engage with the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day through these imaginative tales.


5. ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover’ by Lucille Colandro is a playful addition to the series that introduces a St. Patrick’s Day theme. Watch as the old lady swallows items leading to a whimsical conclusion. This book is perfect for young readers who enjoy repetition and humor. The imaginative sequence of events encourages prediction and engagement, making reading a joyous activity.

Lessons:  Encourages imagination with a whimsical story, teaching sequences and consequences in a fun way.

Best for Ages: 3 – 6 years old

Buy ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover’ on Amazon


6. St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting tells the story of Jamie O’Rourke, who is determined to prove he can participate in the St. Patrick’s Day parade despite being told he’s too small. This tale of perseverance and self-belief is set against the backdrop of a picturesque Irish village. Bunting’s narrative is a celebration of determination, showcasing that size does not limit one’s ability to achieve great things. It’s an uplifting read that encourages children to pursue their dreams.

Lessons:  Focuses on self-belief, determination, and the spirit of participation as Jamie takes on a challenge to prove himself.

Best for Ages: 4 – 9 years old

Buy ‘St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting‘ on Amazon


7. Joy of My Heart: A Saint Patrick’s Day Tale by Kevin L. Hayes takes readers on a historical journey through the eyes of nine-year-old Michael, who learns about The Great Hunger and the resilience of the Irish people. This story is a powerful tribute to the strength and faith of the Irish, offering lessons on perseverance and the importance of remembering one’s heritage. It’s an engaging way to introduce children to a significant period in Irish history while highlighting the values of empathy and resilience.

Lessons: Offers a historical perspective on Irish immigrants, highlighting resilience, faith, and the importance of remembering one’s heritage. 

Best for Ages: 5 – 9 years old

Buy ‘Joy of My Heart: A Saint Patrick’s Day Tale’ on Amazon


8. Maisie McGillicuddy’s Sheep Got Muddy by Kelly Grettler is a delightful adventure that follows Maisie and her sheep across Ireland, visiting iconic landmarks and experiencing the beauty of the Emerald Isle. This story is about friendship, loyalty, and the adventures that unfold when you set out to help a friend in need. It’s a charming introduction to Irish culture and landscapes, packaged in a tale of perseverance and bravery.

Lessons: Themes of friendship, loyalty, and adventure shine through as Maisie searches for her sheep across Ireland.

Best for Ages: 6 – 10 years old

Buy ‘Maisie McGillicuddy’s Sheep Got Muddy’ on Amazon


Leprechauns + Irish Folktales

Dive into the mystical world of leprechauns and Irish folktales with these enchanting stories.

9. Jamie O’rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola tells the humorous tale of Jamie O’Rourke, the laziest man in Ireland, who ends up growing the biggest potato. This story combines folklore with lessons on the value of hard work and the unexpected consequences of taking the easy way out. DePaola’s vibrant illustrations bring the tale to life, making it a fun read that also teaches important life lessons.

Lessons: A humorous tale with a moral about the value of hard work and sharing the fruits of one’s labor.

Best for Ages: 2 – 6 years old

Buy ‘Jamie O’rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola” on Amazon


10. How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace is a lively story that encourages children to think creatively as they follow attempts to catch the elusive leprechaun. This book blends STEAM concepts with rhymes and colorful illustrations, making it a perfect St. Patrick’s Day read that is both educational and entertaining. It’s an interactive reading experience that inspires imagination and problem-solving skills.

Lessons:  Sparks creativity and problem-solving, showing the fun of setting traps while highlighting the mischief of leprechauns.

Best for Ages: 3 – 6 years old

Buy ‘How to Catch a Leprechaun’ on Amazon


11. The Berenstain Bears’ St. Patrick’s Day by Mike Berenstain introduces the Bear family to the traditions of St. Patrick’s Day, from parades to the legend of the leprechaun. This story is a gentle introduction to the holiday’s customs, ideal for young readers who are just beginning to learn about different cultural celebrations. It’s a fun way to discuss the themes of luck, tradition, and family with children.

Lessons:  Teaches about St. Patrick’s Day traditions and the value of family and community celebrations.

Best for Ages: 3 – 6 years old

Buy ‘The Berenstain Bears’ St. Patrick’s Day’ on Amazon


12. Tim O’toole and the Wee Folk by Gerald McDermott is an original folktale about Tim O’Toole’s encounters with a band of leprechauns who offer him gifts to make his fortune. This story explores themes of luck, greed, and the true value of happiness, wrapped in the humor and whimsy of Irish folklore. McDermott’s vivid illustrations and engaging narrative make this book a captivating read.

Lessons:  A story about luck, generosity, and the consequences of greed, set against a backdrop of Irish folklore.

Best for Ages: 3 – 8 years old

Buy ‘Tim O’toole and the Wee Folk’ on Amazon


13. Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman tells the enchanting story of Fiona, who outsmarts the leprechaun king to restore luck to Ireland. This tale of wit and cleverness highlights the power of intelligence over brute strength. It’s a beautifully illustrated book that celebrates Irish culture and the enduring appeal of folktales.

Lessons:  Demonstrates the power of wit over strength and the importance of cleverness and courage in overcoming challenges.

Best for Ages: 4 – 8 years old 

Buy ‘Fiona’s Luck’ on Amazon




14. The Last Snake in Ireland by Sheila MacGill-Callahan is a playful take on the legend of Saint Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland. This book combines history with fantasy, offering a humorous version of how Patrick might have accomplished this feat. It’s a great way to introduce children to the stories of Saint Patrick in a way that is both educational and highly entertaining.

Lessons:  Combines historical legend with humor, teaching about problem-solving and the impact of determination.

Best for Ages: 4 – 8 years old

Buy ‘The Last Snake in Ireland’ on Amazon


15. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute is a classic Irish legend brought to life with engaging illustrations and a clever narrative. This story of Tom’s encounter with a leprechaun and his quest for the pot of gold teaches lessons about the folly of greed and the wisdom of being content with what one has. It’s an amusing read that captures the essence of Irish storytelling.

Lessons:  A cautionary tale about the cleverness of leprechauns and the idea that intelligence and wits can be more valuable than gold.

Best for Ages: 5 – 9 years old

Buy ‘Clever Tom and the Leprechaun’ on Amazon


Each of these books offers a unique window into the world of St. Patrick’s Day, providing both entertainment and educational value. Whether you’re interested in the historical roots of the holiday, the magic of Irish folklore, or just looking for a fun seasonal read, there’s something here for every young reader to enjoy.

As you and your little ones explore these tales, you’re not just enjoying stories; you’re igniting a love for reading, cultivating a deeper understanding of cultural traditions, and instilling lifelong values. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, let’s turn the pages of these books together, and may the joy and luck of the Irish fill your hearts and homes. Happy reading!

Kersten Veronesi

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