A Fine St. Patrick’s Day: A book you don’t want to miss

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17 and even if you’re not Irish it’s a fun celebration!

In the classroom I always read a collection of St. Paddy’s and leprechaun books and we’ll often do a craft or art activity.

Over the next few weeks I thought I’d share some new (to me) St. Patrick’s Day books for kids.

This first book is one of my new favourites!

A Fine St. Patrick’s Day

by Susan Wojciechowski

Illustrated by Tom Curry

Random House, 2004

Suitable for Ages 4-8

40 pages

 

Brief Summary (from the book flap)

Join the townspeople of Tralee and Tralah for a fine St. Patrick’s Day fable!  It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day and the rival towns’ annual decorating contest is under way. Every year, Tralah defeats Tralee. This year, though, little Fiona Riley has a wonderful idea that will help Tralee win the contest for sure. But neither town has counted on a stranger arriving –a funny little man with pointed ears and boots trimmed with bells — who will turn the contest upside down!

Why I Love This Book

When I first read the book I was expecting it to be all about the decorating contest between the towns, with a bit of that negative/competitive vibe.

But it was SO much more and SO much better.

When the competition between the towns is in full swing a funny little man arrives at the town of Tralah. His cows are stuck in the mud and he’s desperate for help getting them out. But person after person in Tralah refuses to come to his aid, claiming the contest is much more important.

So the little man heads over to Tralee and asks for help. And even though the townspeople know they’ll lose the contest yet again if they take the time to help him, they all decide that saving the cows is much more important.

What a wonderful message of kindness and giving!

It’s a children’s story, so of course they’re rewarded for their kindness, in a lovely and magical way. I don’t want to give away the ending, but I thought it was perfect.

This story left me with a happy, content feeling that all is well with the world in the make-believe lands of Tralee and Tralah.

I should also mention that the artwork is gorgeous. Every page is lush with greens and blues, all in a delightful folk art-style.

Ideas to Go Along With the Book

Kindness Discussion: Take some time after reading the story to talk about the kindness the people from Tralee showed the little man and his cows. Ask questions like:

  1. Why is it important to be kind?
  2. Should you be kind to strangers or just to people you know?
  3. How do you think the people from Tralee felt after they helped the cows?

Asking questions like these and providing your students the space to think and give thoughtful answers will open up the conversation into all sorts of interesting directions.

 

Kindness Chatterbox: After the kindness discussion it would be fun to make some chatterboxes. I’ve provided a template below (just click on it to grab).

Have your students colour the shamrocks different colours and then print some compliments in each inner space. E.g., You are kind, I like you, You’re a good friend, You have good manners, etc.

Shamrock chatterbox

The free pdf download (click on image) includes directions for how to fold the chatterbox and how to play.

 

Story Map: A story map is a classic way of helping students learn about the various elements of a story. You can grab this template I made by clicking on the image.

St. Patrick's Story Map

Free Colouring: I have a beautiful shamrock colouring sheet I made a few years ago.

St. Patrick’s Day Clip Art

If you’re looking for some fresh new clip art to jazz up your worksheets or teacher products, be sure to check out this set. I made it a couple of years ago but revamped it last week.

Thanks for stopping by!

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