10 Picture Books About Ireland for St. Patrick's Day

picture books about ireland

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Ireland's verdant landscapes, folklore, and cultural heritage make for a captivating subject in children's literature. Introducing young readers to the magic of the Emerald Isle can be a delightful and educational experience.

This blog post takes a journey through 10 picture books that beautifully capture the essence of Ireland, its traditions, history, and the warmth of its people.

Picture Books About Ireland for St. Patrick's Day

1. This is Ireland by Miroslav Sasek

Miroslav Sasek's This is Ireland is a charming and informative picture book that takes young readers on a visually stunning journey through the picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture of the Emerald Isle. Originally published in 1964, as a part of Sasek's This is... series, the book blends captivating illustrations with engaging descriptions, showcasing the awe-inspiring beauty of Irish cities, countryside, and customs.

Sasek's unique artistic style aptly captures the essence of the country, making it an excellent introduction for children to Ireland's landmarks, history, and the welcoming nature of its people. The book is a delightful travelogue and an educational resource, providing an engaging exploration of the Emerald Isle for readers of all ages.

2. Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman

In Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman, young readers are transported into a world of Irish folklore where they follow Fiona, a clever young girl who embarks on a quest to restore Ireland's stolen luck. This enchanting picture book features a delightful blend of mythical creatures, including a cunning leprechaun and a formidable giant, all of which Fiona must overcome with her determination and wit.

Through a rhythmic narrative and vivid illustrations, the book not only introduces children to the magical world of Irish folklore but also imparts valuable lessons about courage, resourcefulness, and the importance of utilizing one's intelligence to overcome obstacles. Fiona's Luck is a captivating storybook that engages young readers while celebrating the spirit of Irish tales.

3. St. Patrick's Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting

St. Patrick's Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting is a captivating picture book that narrates the inspiring story of Jamie O'Rourke, a young Irish boy determined to make his mark on St. Patrick's Day. With his sights set on participating in the village parade, Jamie embarks on a journey full of excitement and resilience.

Through the obstacles he faces, the book beautifully captures the essence of community spirit and the joy of celebrating a cherished cultural holiday. Bunting's engaging writing style, coupled with the vibrant illustrations, brings to life a tale that not only highlights the significance of St. Patrick's Day but also imparts valuable lessons about perseverance, community, and inclusion.

St. Patrick's Day in the Morning is a valuable addition to any collection of holiday-themed picture books, offering a heartwarming exploration of Irish traditions that young readers will undoubtedly enjoy.

4. Ireland: The People, The Places, The Stories by Rachel Pierce

Ireland: The People, The Places, The Stories by Rachel Pierce is an enthralling picture book that explores the rich culture, landscapes, and history of Ireland in a visually stunning manner. The book takes readers on a captivating journey through the country's iconic landmarks and breathtaking scenery, whilst simultaneously delving into the stories and traditions that make Ireland unique.

From ancient myths and legends to contemporary celebrations, Pierce offers a well-rounded portrayal of the Emerald Isle. The book's insightful content and beautiful imagery make it an excellent introductory resource for young readers, inviting them to appreciate the beauty and diversity of this charming nation.

5. The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic by Jennifer Thermes

Jennifer Thermes' The Indestructible Tom Crean: Heroic Explorer of the Antarctic is a captivating picture book that tells the incredible true story of Tom Crean from Ireland, an often-overlooked hero of Antarctic exploration. Through engaging prose and delightful illustrations, Thermes documents Crean's exploits alongside iconic explorers like Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton.

The book celebrates Crean's remarkable bravery, perseverance, and unflinching resolve in the face of extreme hardships and adversity. Readers are transported on an exhilarating journey to the frigid terrain of Antarctica, gaining insights into Crean's contributions to some of the most significant polar expeditions in history. The Indestructible Tom Crean is a truly inspiring and informative tribute to a remarkable explorer, making it an engrossing read for young audiences fascinated by tales of adventure and heroism.

6. Irish Legends for Children by Yvonne Carroll

Irish Legends for Children written by Yvonne Carroll is a captivating collection of enchanting tales that brings the rich tapestry of Irish mythology to life for young readers. With a skillful blend of storytelling and vivid illustrations, Carroll introduces children to the magical world of legendary heroes, mythical creatures, and epic adventures.

Every story in the book is presented in an accessible and engaging manner, making it perfect for young audiences. This picture book not only entertains but also provides a wonderful introduction to Ireland's cultural heritage, fostering an appreciation for the timeless stories that have been passed down through generations.

Irish Legends for Children serves as an imaginative journey into the heart of Irish folklore, captivating the imagination of readers and igniting a curiosity for the country's mythical past.

7. Flying Feet: A Story of Irish Dance by Anna Marlis Burgard

Flying Feet: A Story of Irish Dance authored by Anna Marlis Burgard is a captivating picture book that masterfully captures the lively rhythm and energy of Irish dance. Through eloquent writing and animated illustrations, Burgard narrates the tale of young Maeve, who aspires to join her elder sister in the world of Irish dance.

The book traces Maeve's journey as she perseveres through rigorous training and ultimately showcases her skills in a spirited dance performance. With vivid depictions of the vibrant dance culture and a tribute to Maeve's dedication, Flying Feet provides young readers with an engaging introduction to the world of Irish step dancing. The book is a delightful account that combines the exuberance of dance with themes of determination and the pursuit of one's aspirations.

8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Black Island by Hergé

The Black Island, a graphic novel by Hergé, is an enthralling tale that follows Tintin, a young reporter, on an exciting adventure to Scotland and England. The book, first published in 1938, features Hergé's signature clear-line art style and meticulous storytelling.

It tells the story of Tintin, who stumbles upon a plane crash and an injured pilot, and becomes embroiled in a web of counterfeiting, deceit, and danger. The book takes readers on a thrilling ride of suspense, humor, and clever detective work as Tintin uncovers the mystery of the black island.

This timeless addition to the Tintin series is sure to captivate readers of all ages, providing a glimpse into the world of globetrotting escapades and the thrill of solving a mystery.

9. Fin M'Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill by Tomie dePaola

Fin M'Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill, a charming picture book by Tomie dePaola, retells the classic Irish folktale of the giant Fin M'Coul. The story is set in the picturesque backdrop of Ireland, where the witty Fin outsmarts his rival giant with his quick wit and resourcefulness.

Through Tomie dePaola's playful illustrations, the story's characters and landscapes come to life, capturing the enchantment of Irish folklore. The book's perfect blend of humor and wisdom makes it a timeless classic that introduces young readers to the wit and charm of Irish storytelling, showcasing the triumph of intelligence over physical strength.

10. Patrick: God’s Courageous Captive by Voice of Martyrs

This St. Patrick's Day, go beyond the traditional symbols of shamrocks and leprechauns and discover the remarkable tale of a man determined to spread the message of salvation to those who had enslaved him. Voice of Martyrs has retold the story of a young boy, Patrick was abducted by pirates and forced into servitude on the island of Ireland.

Despite his captivity, he remained steadfast in his faith, recalling the Bible stories his father had shared with him and dedicating his life to the Lord. Though he eventually managed to escape and return home, he felt a divine calling to go back to Ireland and share the gospel with his captors.

Your children will be inspired by the story of this remarkable man, whose unwavering faith and courage allowed him to spread the gospel message even in the face of tremendous adversity.

Bonus Picture Books About Ireland

And... of course, I have a few more bonus books I just had to add in! I can't have anyone missing out on these beautiful books about the Emerald Isle.

11. Hound of Ulster by Malachy Doyle 

Hound of Ulster, written by Malachy Doyle, is a captivating retelling of an ancient Irish legend. Note this an early reader book is a chapter book with illustrations throughout the book. The suggested age range if reading independently is 8+.

The protagonist, Cú Chulainn, is a young hero blessed with extraordinary strength and courage, destined for greatness. However, his journey is fraught with challenges, including battles, tests of character, and the looming shadow of war. Doyle skillfully weaves together elements of myth and adventure, capturing the essence of Irish folklore.

Through vivid storytelling and engaging prose, Hound of Ulster introduces readers to the legendary hero Cú Chulainn, offering an immersive and captivating experience steeped in the rich tapestry of Irish mythology.

12. The O'Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and Legends by Una Leavy

Una Leavy's, The O'Brien Book of Irish Fairy Tales and Legends is an enthralling compilation that immerses readers in the captivating world of Irish folklore. The timeless stories introduce a range of mythical creatures, heroic figures, and magical landscapes that have been an integral part of Irish culture.

The book offers a rich tapestry of tales, from epic adventures featuring legendary heroes to whimsical narratives about mischievous fairies. Leavy's evocative storytelling, combined with enchanting illustrations, takes readers on a magical journey through the heart of Ireland's storytelling tradition, making it an engaging and immersive experience for all who explore its pages.

13. S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet by Eve Bunting

Eve Bunting's, S is for Shamrock: An Ireland Alphabet is an excellent picture book designed to educate and entertain young readers about the rich culture, history, and landscapes of Ireland. The book takes readers on an alphabetical journey, with each letter representing a crucial aspect of Irish heritage, including myths, legends, historical sites, and traditions, from A for Ardmore to Z for Zodiac of Dendera.

This picture book about Ireland is both engaging and informative, providing children with a comprehensive introduction to various elements of Irish life. The colorful illustrations by Matt Faulkner complement the narrative, making S is for Shamrock an excellent resource for readers of all ages.

14. Ireland by Julie Murray

Welcome to the captivating country of Ireland - renowned for its breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and the legendary Blarney Stone! This informative book, featuring easy-to-read text and stunning scenic photos, immerses its readers in Ireland's rich history, government, major cities, natural landmarks, cultural practices, and more.

This book is complemented by maps, a timeline with photos, and intriguing facts, which add depth and interest to the readers' journey. The book concludes with a facts page, providing information on Ireland's population and total area, accompanied by images of the Irish flag and currency.

This book is an ideal resource for students researching Ireland, and it features a table of contents, a glossary with phonetic spellings, and an index.

15. Let’s See Ireland by Sara Bowie

Join Molly and her family in, Let's See Ireland by Sara Bowie, on a whirlwind adventure through the beautiful country of Ireland, as they explore some of its most famous landmarks and attractions. From the bustling city of Dublin, with its famous zoo, historic cathedrals, and lively Temple Bar district, to the serene beauty of Stephen's Green and the Botanic Gardens, this book has something for everyone.

Follow Molly and her trusty sidekick, Mipsy the cat, as they journey to the stunning Rock of Cashel, the iconic Hook Lighthouse, and the charming city of Cork. And don't miss out on the breathtaking natural wonders of the Cliffs of Moher and the Giant's Causeway, or the ancient mystery of Newgrange. With beautiful illustrations and engaging storytelling, this book is sure to be a hit with readers of all ages.

Did you discover your favorite picture books about Ireland?

I had a blast finding these beautiful picture books about Ireland. This collection of ten picture books about Ireland will take you and your children on an enjoyable and informative exploration of Irish culture, history, and folklore. From the legendary heroics of Irish legends to the playful antics of mischievous leprechauns, and the enchanting beauty of Irish landscapes, these books offer young readers an engaging and vibrant introduction to the Emerald Isle. We hope you enjoy reading and discovering the magic of Ireland!

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