20 of our Favorite St. Patrick's Day Picture Books. Plus, a free printable book list to take to the library with you!
I love minor holidays like St. Patrick's Day. It's fun to have a reason to celebrate in March. It's also a low-key holiday that doesn't require a lot of effort on my part, which I always appreciate.
At my house, however, St. Patrick's Day is also my daughter's birthday. As she's gotten older, she's been less interested in sharing her big day with the leprechauns. March 17th is all about Adelaide now. (How was she ever this small?!)
Consequently, we don't do a lot with Saint Patrick's Day around here anymore. But this only makes our March book basket even more important. Since we don't do much to acknowledge the actual holiday on the 17th, I love to have a basket with St. Patrick's Day Picture Books out to enjoy all month long.
Luckily, there are so many fun St. Patrick's Day Picture Books out there! Some that focus on the history of the holiday and Saint Patrick himself. Some that emphasize the leprechauns and their mischief. And some that just tell a good Irish story or tell us more about Ireland itself.
A few years ago, my parents spent several months in Ireland. They stayed right in the heart of Dublin, but they traveled all over the country.
The fun thing about so many of these St. Patrick's Day Picture Books is that they still tell so many of these folk tales at all the historical sites in Ireland. Like the very first book on this list. When my parents visited the causeway in Ireland, they actually told the story of Fin M'Coul on the tour.
This is a great list to take to the library this month so you can enjoy St. Patrick's Day Picture Books all month long. You can find a free printable list to take along with you at the end of this post.
St. Patrick's Day Picture Books
This retelling of a classic Irish fable is so much fun to read aloud. I love any excuse to pull out an Irish accent (however terrible it may be) and Fin M'Coul and his very smart wife are some of my favorite characters to impersonate.
We do love Jamie O'Rourke at our house! When his wife leaves him alone for a week, a Pooka comes to do the housework for him. But Jamie's luck runs out and it's fun to read what happens next.
Jamie's wife does all the cooking so when her back goes out Jamie is afraid he'll starve. But silly, lazy Jamie meets a leprechaun who promises him the biggest potato in the world. Tomie de Paola is just a perfect storyteller.
A beautifully illustrated book about the origin and history of the patron saint to whom we owe the holiday.
I love a book with a strong, brave female protagonist and Margaret is exactly that. She lives alone in County Donegal, but when a ship arrives she seizes her chance to see the world. There's a big adventure ahead, one that includes an evil giant!
Brigid is another of Ireland's beloved saints and this is her ancient story. This sweet tale begins on the day she was born and receives a beautiful blue cloak from a mysterious Druid.
You can't go wrong with a Patricia Polacco book. This one is about an Irish family that travels to America. It's hard times for them but Fiona, with her talent for making lace, is determined to keep her family together.
Finn O'Finnegan comes home to visit his mother, but instead of the quiet, relaxing visit he was expecting, he finds too many leprechauns. The illustrations in this one are fantastic!
Ninny Nanny's roof is broken and there's nothing to eat, but she's too lazy to do the work. Instead, she'd rather try to find a leprechaun's gold. But taking gold from leprechauns may not be any easier than just fixing the roof herself. Wonderful illustrations in this fun to read book!
This fun folktale is full of magic and leprechauns - a perfect St. Patrick's Day Picture Book! Fiona is clever, but is she clever enough to outsmart the most powerful Leprechaun King?
Gail Gibbons FOREVER! I love her books. This is a non-fiction picture book with everything you need to know about St. Patrick's Day.
Did you know that before St. Patrick became a saint he had to drive all the snakes out of Ireland? Well, all but one. He threw the very last snake into Scotland's Loch Ness.
Leprechauns do bury pots of gold at the end of rainbows, but that's not all they do. This is a cute book about leprechaun mischief.
This is a must read St. Patrick's Day Picture Book. And the illustrations are so perfect. Little Jamie knows he's not to little to march in the big St. Patrick's Day parade. Now he just has to convince everyone else.
A beautiful Ireland Alphabet book!
This is a retelling of the Celtic story, "The Field of Boliauns," and it's such a fun leprechaun legend. Clever Tom tries to outwit a leprechaun and steal the gold, but the leprechaun is not going to make it very easy.
Do you know how to catch a leprechaun? It's trickier than you think! This is a very fun read aloud.
This is such a fun book with another strong female protagonist. Someone stole the witch of Crookhaven's horse but don't worry, Kate O'Sullivan has a plan. Unfortunately, her plans don't go, well, as planned.
The O'Tooles are so poor they don't even have a potato to eat. But when Tim goes out to find a job, he finds a band of "wee folk" instead. Gerald McDermott is such a good storyteller.
Another book from Sasek's This is Travel series from the 1960s. And, since this is a reprint, they've updated all the facts and information. The illustrations alone make this a must read.
Everything you ever wanted to know about Ireland. My parents brought this one back from Ireland and my kids have spent HOURS poring over every detail.
This collection of favorite Irish folk tales makes the perfect bedtime companion. And the illustrations are wonderful!
Twelve tales of magic and myth - so much fun to read aloud! This collection even features another tale about Finn M'Coul, older and wiser than he was in the Knockmany Hill story, and this time battling an old Scottish Giant.