irish books for kids

March 13, 2012

The past few years, I have checked out all the St. Patrick's Day books from our library. I've already shared our favorites here and here, so today I thought I'd share two of our favorite Irish books (not necessarily about St. Patrick's Day.)

O'Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott

This is a longer story and probably more for elementary aged children, but Juliet fell in love with it. There is mention of a witch, a sea serpent, giants, and scary beasts--all potentially scary elements to a preschooler, so I would preview this first before you read it to a younger child or particularly sensitive older one.

Katy lives in Ireland and the story is a mixture of adventure and fantasy. After trying to steal back a horse from the king and she and her family are captured, she uses her flair for storytelling to win their freedom.

In the end, the king is won over by her and asks her to marry him. I love what she says to him, "Oh, it's funny you should ask me today, Your Majesty. You see, I've just decided that after talking so much about the adventures of others it's time that I go find some of my own.

Kate led the king out the back door, where Sebastian stood, saddled and ready for a journey. She said her farewells to everyone and then mounted up.

"If your offer is still good in five yers time, you'll know where to find me," Kate called back to the King. "Just remember the way to Crookhaven."

A girl who turns down marriage to a prince! You don't see that in too many fairy tales. :)

We also love a version of the Finn McCool story. I've reviewed it here. The version we have is out of print, but maybe you can find a used copy. I haven't read any of the others--do you have a favorite Irish picture book to share with us?

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