With a name like Maureen, it should come as no surprise to learn that I am Irish. I was actually baptized “Maureen Katherine McGill”, which really doesn’t get much more Irish than that, does it? So, of course, I always make an effort to at least wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.
As a side note, one of the weirdest St. Patrick’s Day experiences that I ever had was going to an Irish pub one year in college, with some friends. The Irish singer had backed out at the last minute and another singer, who did not sing Irish music, was called in as a substitute. The crowd was not pleased, to put it kindly. The one weird quirk that this singer had was that he claimed that he could sing any country music song in reggae style. He asked that someone in the audience suggest a country music song. No one was buying it, as everyone was still upset over the switch in singers. I am no country music lover, but in 6th grade, I went through a Kenny Rogers phase, when I listened to Kenny Rogers records over and over (yes, you read correctly, we listened to records back then). I have no idea why I did this, so don’t ask. Anyway, I felt sorry for the singer, so suggested The Gambler. Well, I’ll tell you, he was not lying. He sang The Gambler in perfect reggae style. Of course, we still left the pub shortly after, as we had come for some Irish atmosphere…
The second weirdest St. Patrick’s Day I had was when I was in 10th grade. I had worn a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” button, with the understanding that this was not to be interpreted literally. Well, I was in trig class, working on homework and barely noticed the teacher call up the senior class president, who actually happened to be a friend of mine, because he desperately wanted to be a pilot and my dad was a pilot, so he was often asking me pilot-type questions. I know it was the teacher who planted the idea into his head, but I certainly was not prepared for what was to happen. The next thing I knew, my friend grabbed me in his arms an swooped me backwards and gave me one of the most smoochiest kisses that I ever have had. Needless to say, since then, I have never worn a “Kiss Me, I’m Irish” accessory again….
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. I’ve always made an effort to read Saint Patrick’s Day books and maybe even cook something green. Irish or not, I despise corned beef and cabbage and will not abide having it cooked in my house. Sola, however, has become completely obsessed with leprechauns! So we have read every single picture book about leprechauns, St.Patrick’s Day, and Irish people in general, that we could get our hands on. Every day, Sola, spends a good portion of the day wondering if any leprechauns have traveled from Ireland and ended up in our house. She also plans what she will say and do if she ever catches a leprechaun. She also reminds me that if there is big mess in the kitchen on St. Patrick’s Day, don’t blame her, she would never do that, but a leprechaun might. The idea that leprechauns make shoes for the fairies, a fact that somehow eluded me all these years, makes leprechauns all the more special. Then there is the whole rainbow aspect of leprechauns and throw in a pot of gold and well, what could be better than a leprechaun?
So I thought I’d share some of the best Saint Patricks Day picture books that we’ve read, in case you’d like to share some stories with your little leprechaun.