Tag Archives: legends

Perfect Pairing – for St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, a day when we are all Irish, or wish we were. As so many parades and festivities are cancelled across the world, I thought I’d share two picture books to help you celebrate.

Irish Legends for Children 

Retold By: Yvonne Carroll

Illustrator: Lucy Su

Publisher/Date: Gill & Macmillan Ltd/1995

Ages: 4-8

Themes: myths, legends, Ireland, magic, compilation

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Once upon a time, kings, knights,
and dragons roamed the verdant hills of Ireland, and druids used their sorcery
for both good and evil. It was a time of magic. It was a time of warriors. It
was a time of legends.
The six legends presented here are
taken primarily from two cycles in Irish lore: An Rrai1/2ocht (The Red
Branch Knights Cycle) and An Fhiannai1/2ocht (The Fianna Cycle). These
stories have been passed down from generation to generation in Ireland but will
delight children of any heritage. They deal with many diverse topics, yet they
all share an underlying theme: the journey into adulthood.



Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato: An Irish Folktale

Retold & Illustrated By: Tomie dePaola

Publisher/date: A Whitebird Book (GP Putnam’s Sons)/1992

Ages: 4-8

Themes: folktale (Irish), laziness, luck, making assumptions, humor

Short Synopsis (from Goodreads):

When his wife injures her back and can’t do all the work, Jamie O’Rourke–the laziest man in all of Ireland–is sure he’ll starve to death. A wiley leprechaun intervenes, and one wish later, Jamie is the proud owner of a potato as big as a house! An engaging read-aloud choice for St. Patrick’s Day.

Read a review by Susanna Leonard Hill.

I paired these books because they feature Irish legends on a day when we celebrate all things Irish!

Looking for similar reads? See all-med.net which features free downloads of Irish Legends for Children and other books containing Irish legends.



Perfect Picture Book Friday: A Bucket of Blessings

I have an on-going, and seemingly never-satisfied, thirst for myths, legends and folktales from around the world, in particular origin myths. So when I saw today’s Perfect Picture Book on the recent acquisitions shelf at my local library, I had to nab it, and, like the young monkey in the story, share it.


A-Bucket-of-Blessings-Cover-NYT-homeTitle: A Bucket of Blessings

Written By: Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal

Illustrated By: Jing Jing Tsong

Publisher/date: Beach Lane Books, 2014

Suitable for Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: India, legends, peacocks, water, blessings, drought

Opening: “Near a majestic mountain, in a vast jungle with many mango trees, lives Monkey. It has not rained for weeks. The village well and the pond are dry.”

Brief Synopsis: In the midst of a drought, a young monkey remembers a legend told by his mother: a peacock can make it rain by dancing. The monkey asks the peacock to dance, only to learn that the peacock needs water to make it rain. Monkey finds water, but a leaky bucket may dash his hopes for rain.

Links to Resources: Younger children can color peacocks, or try drawing them. Collages, from scraps of colored paper, wallpaper scraps or fabric, would be another interesting project. Older children can try their hands at India-themed crafts.

A hand-off race with a water-filled bucket could provide some interesting conversations as the water invariably sloshes out and disappears.

Older children can learn more about water scarcity and how they can help, at Charity Water, the charity designated by Beach Lane Books to receive a portion of proceeds from A Bucket of Blessings.

Why I Like this Book: A plucky monkey, a radiant peacock, a legend from a part of the world I frankly don’t know enough about, a problem that affects so many people in the world and gorgeous illustrations: what’s not to like about this book? The story is told simply, and the illustrations are gorgeous. Mother-son duo, Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal, offer a non-preachy lesson on the importance of water, with a bonus donation to support charitywater.org.


This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!