Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, and Shenanigans: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Children!

It’s the time of year when we all wish to have a wee bit o’ the Irish heritage in our family tree.  Whether you hail from the Emerald Isles or just wish you did, get ready to dress in green, dance a jig and follow a rainbow to its end. Construct a leprechaun trap, share an Irish tale with your wee ones and delight in the fun of St. Patrick’s Day!


Brave Margaret: An Irish Adventure, by Robert D. San Souci; illustrated by Sally Wern Comport

Margaret longs for adventure and finds it when she sets out to sea, facing sea serpents, raging storms and wicked giants. Throughout her ordeals, Margaret shows astonishing courage and strength, surprising both her enemies and those she loves.

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

Two Irish dancers face off in the contest of their lives, each hoping to become dance master for the village of Ballyconneely. Inspired by a true story, this is the perfect tale for young fans of Riverdance or Celtic Thunder.

The Irish Cinderlad, by Shirley Climo; illustrated by Loretta Krupinski

This lively Irish Cinderella story is told with the roles reversed. Young Cinderlad overcomes a giant, slays a dragon and finds true love with the help of an enormous pair of boots.

The New Policeman, by Kate Thompson

J.J. Liddy is a member of a family of gifted Irish music performers, but J.J. is finding it hard to combine the family traditions with more popular teen pursuits. His mother often complains that there is not as much time as there used to be to take care of daily responsibilities and have time for the artistic enjoyments in life.  J.J. decides to find out where all of the time is going. It isn’t long before he lands in the kingdom of Tír na n’Óg, where the fairies are facing time issues of their own. Older elementary readers will find themselves immersed in this enchanting tale of troubled fairies and alternate worlds. 

O’Sullivan Stew, by Hudson Talbott

As everyone knows, the Irish are marvelous storytellers. In this engaging tale, Kate O’Sullivan must tell a story of epic proportions, using her imagination, wit, courage and a fair amount of blarney, in order to save her brothers’ lives.

St. Patrick’s Day, by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

Follow a young boy as he celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in his classroom and at home, learning about the traditions and history of the much loved Irish-American holiday. This simple picture book does a nice job of introducing St. Patrick’s Day to very young children.


Darby O’Gill and the Little People

Before Sean Connery became 007, he took on a very different role as a love-struck Irish lad wooing a girl whose father is in peril because of a bargain he has made with the king of the leprechauns. This vintage Disney movie hasn’t lost its charm.

The Secret of Roan Inish

After the death of her mother and the mysterious disappearance of her brother, Fiona is sent to live with her grandparents on the mainland. When she hears the stories of her family’s past and their connection to the selkies on the isle of Roan Inish, Fiona is determined to return to her ancestral home to reclaim her heritage and find her long-lost baby brother. This is an enchanting movie the entire family can enjoy.


Seattle’s 2010 St. Patrick’s Day Parade will be held on Saturday, March 13, at 12:30 p.m. The parade will travel down Seattle’s Fourth Avenue, beginning at Jefferson and ending at the Seattle Center.

The 2010 Irish Festival will be held at the Seattle Center’s Center House on March 13 and 14. Cultural exhibits, dancing and music will be enjoyed by all.

One thought on “Shamrocks, Shillelaghs, and Shenanigans: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Children!”

  1. Darby O’Gill! Love it! Every once and awhile I’ll find myself singing the song: “Pretty Irish Girl”.
    One book I loved as a child was Maude Casey’s Over the Water. A story of three generations of Irish Women. Being Irish myself it sparked a love for my roots and an urge to know more about where my family came from.

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