St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids: Tales for Little Leprechauns

Krystal DeVille

Girl reading a book.

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday filled with folklore, traditions, and history. It’s on March 17th every year, honors Ireland’s patron saint, and offers a great chance for kids to learn about another culture. There are a ton of books for young readers that get into Irish legends, symbols like shamrocks and pots of gold, and the story of Saint Patrick.

These illustrations help kids connect with the holiday spirit.

Table of Contents


  • St. Patrick’s Day books for children serve as a valuable educational tool, introducing young readers to the rich history, culture, and traditions of Ireland.
  • These stories, filled with enchanting characters and magical adventures, not only entertain but also stimulate creativity and curiosity among young readers.
  • Many St. Patrick’s Day books for kids incorporate interactive elements such as crafts, games, and activities that extend the reading experience beyond the page.

St. Patrick’s Day Books for Kids

Book TitleAuthor(s)Theme
How to Catch a LeprechaunAdam Wallace & Andy ElkertonLeprechaun traps, creativity, and perseverance
Clever Tom and the LeprechaunLinda ShuteIrish folklore, luck, and adventure
Jamie O’Rourke and the Big PotatoTomie dePaolaIrish folklore, moral lessons
The Story of Saint Patrick’s DayPatricia A. PingryHistory of Saint Patrick, Irish culture
The 12 Days of St. Patrick’s DayJenna LetticeIrish folklore, St. Patrick’s Day traditions
Fiona’s LuckTeresa BatemanIrish folklore, cleverness, and luck
The Story of the LeprechaunKatherine Tegen & Henry ColeCraftsmanship, cleverness in Irish folklore
Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun ChaseJames DeanFriendship, luck, and adventure
The Berenstain Bears’ St. Patrick’s DayMike BerenstainFamily-centric perspective on the holiday
Baby’s First St. Patrick’s DayLeslie McGuirkIntroduction to symbols and joys of St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s DayGail GibbonsNonfiction, history and traditions of St. Patrick’s Day

The Significance of St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick's Day Books for Kids.
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The day honors St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, remembered for bringing Christianity to the Irish.

It is revered not only as a religious commemoration but also as a celebration of Irish culture and heritage, capturing the spirit of the holiday perfectly.

Children in countries worldwide encounter a festive atmosphere filled with distinctive traditions. They see the vibrant green shamrocks, a symbol associated with the saint for teaching the Holy Trinity. Thus, the wee folk are said to go missing if you don’t wear green.

This leads to playful pinching among those who forget, making it perhaps the luckiest day for those who remember.

Meanwhile, parades are a major attraction, featuring marching bands, dancers, and Irish-themed floats, marking the day as the best day ever for many. In Ireland and many cities abroad, these parades serve as a joyous expression of Irish pride and community spirit.

This makes St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner a time of eager anticipation.

Beloved Characters and Legends

Family celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Irish holiday, culture and tradition. Kids wear green leprechaun hat and beard with Ireland flag and clover leaf.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Lovable Leprechauns and Their Tales

How to Catch a Leprechaun: A Saint Patrick's Day Book for Kids book.

St. Patrick’s Day kids’ books often feature enchanting beings from Irish folklore, giving young readers an imaginative gateway to cultural stories and traditions.

Lovable leprechauns and their tales are central, depicted as mischievous yet endearing characters. These tiny, bearded little men, often dressed in green coats and hats, embody the heart of Irish legend.

Books like “How to Catch a Leprechaun” encourage creativity and perseverance in setting traps for leprechauns, wrapping up the holiday’s themes in stories of fantasy and adventure.

Other Famous Characters From Irish Folklore

Children’s books are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day read aloud sessions, featuring amazing picture book selections that introduce enchanting Irish folklore characters.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun, for instance, presents a fun tale where the leprechaun has a few tricks up his sleeve, while Pete learns luck is something you create yourself, not just find.

Lastly, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or burying pots of gold are common themes. These introduce kids to the classic Irish folklore and the idea that sometimes, the luckiest adventures are those shared with friends and family, celebrating the perfect St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

Stories to Spark the Imagination

Captivating tales filled with wonder weave through the pages of children’s books for St. Patrick’s Day, celebrating the holiday with stories often involving chasing elusive pots of gold and navigating the mischievous antics of leprechauns.

These book lists feature adventures that are perfect for little leprechauns eager to explore the magic of the holiday.

Adventures with Pots of Gold and Treasures

Adventures with pots of gold and treasures captivate children, especially during St. Patrick’s Day.

The story “How to trap a leprechaun” takes young readers on an exciting journey. In it, characters set traps and face challenges in their quest for a pot of gold.

This festive adventure teaches the value of perseverance and creativity, plunging children into a fantasy world linked to the holiday, and is a highlight in any collection of St. Patrick’s Day kids books.

Magical Encounters and Leprechaun Tricks

Meanwhile, the mystery of St. Patrick’s Day grows with tales of four-leaf clovers and shamrocks, symbols representing luck and Irish heritage.

During these adventures, children meet leprechauns known for their mischief, embodying the spirit of that’s what leprechauns are famous for. The search for a leprechaun usually involves learning luck is actually something you can create through kindness and wit, rather than finding a rare four-leaf clover alone.

KinVibes Pro-Tip: Books with these themes inspire the imagination and convey lessons about the importance of luck, enhancing the St. Patrick’s Day decorating contest with stories as vibrant as the decorations themselves.

Cultural Tales and Historical Context

Happy kids celebrating St Patricks Day on the 17th of March.
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As children explore Irish culture and history, they uncover stories about Saint Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint. They also delve into original folktales passed down through generations.

Folk Tales and the Richness of Irish Culture

Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato

This serves as a prime example of a fine St. Patrick’s Day story that showcases traditional stories imparting morals through engaging characters and whimsical plots. In this tale, one day a greedy man named Jamie learns valuable lessons. This makes it the best St. Patrick’s Day pick for young readers.

Historical Tales of St. Patrick and Ireland’s Past

Shifting from myth to history, books about Saint Patrick offer insights into Ireland’s past.

The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day

This introduces young readers to the holiday’s background. It explains how Saint Patrick’s deeds and faith shaped Ireland’s culture and religion. Children need to grasp the historical roots of these celebrations. This book presents the information in a manner that captivates young minds, ensuring they understand and enjoy the story.

No wonder this makes it an essential part of the annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations for young readers.

Festive Books for Different Age Groups

St. Patrick’s Day brings a variety of great books that entertain and educate children about Irish culture and the holiday’s traditions. From board books for the little ones to more complex stories for older kids, there’s a festive read suitable for every age group, ensuring Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and is celebrated with joy.

Board Books for Toddlers

For the youngest readers, board books are durable and often interactive, providing a delightful introduction to St. Patrick’s Day. Titles like

“The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day” caters to toddlers by simplifying the history of the holiday into engaging, easily digestible content, making it a happy St. Patrick’s Day means to learn and have fun.

Picture Books for Preschoolers

Picture books offer preschoolers a vivid storytelling experience, using text and colorful illustrations and rhyming. They cover topics from Irish folklore to the significance of St. Patrick’s Day, with books like “The 12 Days of St. Patrick’s Day,”. It also adapts a classic Irish folktale into a holiday theme, featuring charming St. Patrick’s Day narratives.

Engaging Reads for Elementary School Kids

Elementary school children can enjoy the holiday with activity books and more detailed picture books that dive deeper into holiday traditions and stories of Irish culture. These books are designed to captivate with fun activities while also providing educational content about learning about St. Patrick’s Day.


Author Spotlights

  • Gail Gibbons: Known for her informative style, Gibbons’ work is educational. It often brings historical and cultural celebrations to a level appropriate for young readers. This makes her contributions significant in the educational aspect of children’s literature regarding St. Patrick’s Day.

  • Tomie dePaola: With classics like Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato, dePaola captures the imagination with distinctive illustrations. He brings Irish folklore to life, highlighting his ability to blend artistic talent with storytelling.

  • Natasha Wing: Celebrated for her festive stories, Wing captures the holiday spirits, including those of St. Patrick’s Day. It showcases her ability to engage young readers with the essence of various celebrations.

  • Adam Wallace: Known for How to Catch a Leprechaun, Wallace adds a playful twist to the holiday. He combines the mischievous nature of leprechauns with engaging illustrations by Andy Elkerton, emphasizing fun and engagement in children’s literature.

  • Eve Bunting: With Irish roots, Bunting weaves tales like St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning that reflect her heritage. She offers a gentle celebration of this green-clad holiday, highlighting the personal connection to the content.

  • Pamela Duncan Edwards: Brings St. Patrick’s Day themes to children with Ed & Fred Flea and other charming stories. Additionally, she emphasizes thematic storytelling centered around the holiday.

Classic Tales

  • Teresa Bateman: Fiona’s Luck, which tells the story of a clever heroine outsmarting leprechauns, delves into the enchanting side of Irish folklore, emphasizing the clever and mythical aspects of traditional stories.
  • Hudson Talbott: His works often delve into rich tales sketched with engaging art, imbuing classic stories with new life, highlighting the revitalization of folklore through engaging illustrations.
  • Katherine Tegen: The Story of the Leprechaun focuses on craftsmanship and cleverness, with Henry Cole’s illustrations bringing the tale to the young audience, emphasizing the storytelling aspect of folklore.
  • Gerald McDermott: This stands as a testament to the power of storytelling, especially for readers fascinated with the interplay between nature and myth, highlighting the deeper cultural and mythological aspects of Irish lore.

Here’s a quick list of authors and their relevant St. Patrick’s Day works:

AuthorRelevant St. Patrick’s Day Works
Gail GibbonsInformational children’s books
Tomie dePaolaJamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
Natasha WingHoliday-inspired stories
Adam Wallace & Andy ElkertonHow to Catch a Leprechaun
Eve BuntingStories with Irish influence
Pamela Duncan EdwardsCheerful festive tales
Teresa BatemanFiona’s Luck
Hudson TalbottEnriched classic stories
Katherine Tegen & Henry ColeThe Story of the Leprechaun
Gerald McDermottNature and myth intertwined tales

These authors and their stories are essential parts of children’s literature for St. Patrick’s Day, offering a diverse range of books to educate and entertain.

Interactive Experiences with Books

Photo of impressed young brunette lady read book wear eyeweear blue sweater isolated on yellow color background.
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St. Patrick’s Day children’s books not only tell stories but also offer engaging ways to bring the holiday to life through crafts and games. These activities can creatively enhance the reading experience for young readers.

Crafts and Activities Inspired by St. Patrick’s Day Reads

Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase invites children to join Pete the Cat in an enchanting leprechaun mischief adventure. After reading, they can partake in:

  • Leprechaun Traps: Utilize household items like shoe boxes and craft papers.
  • Rainbow Collages: Create vibrant art with colored paper and cotton balls for clouds.

For fans of the Berenstain Bears series, one could organize:

  • Scavenger Hunt: Hidden shamrock stickers around a room or library can stir up a fun hunt.
  • Decorating Contest: Inspired by the Bears’ cozy treehouse, kids can decorate their own bear homes or craft spaces with a St. Patrick’s Day theme.

Games and Puzzles Based on Popular Books

Combing through a St. Patrick’s Day Activity Book, children can engage in:

  • Mazes and Word Searches: Featuring themes like the little shoemaker or famous Irish legends.
  • Matching Games: Pair related images or words from the stories, reinforcing vocabulary and content knowledge.

Fiona Riley’s Interactive Adventures might focus on:

  • Sticker Scenes: Using Fiona Riley themed stickers to recreate story moments or create new ones.
  • Puzzle Challenges: Assembling puzzles that depict various scenes from Fiona’s festive tales.

Holiday-Themed Series and Collections

Children’s literature often embraces the festive spirit of holidays, and St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. From series featuring mischievous leprechauns to collections that delve into the cultural aspects of the holiday, a treasure trove of themed books awaits young readers.

Popular St. Patrick’s Day Series for Kids

  • The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day: This book by Natasha Wing is part of a larger series that explores different holidays with fun, illustrations, and rhyming narratives. It follows the excitement of children the night before the celebrations. It’s a time when everyone loves a celebration and hopes to enjoy the holiday without any hiccups.
  • Old Lady Series by Lucille Colandro: Featuring There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover!, this series introduces kids to a whimsical character who’s full of mischief. In this installment, she swallows items associated with St. Patrick’s Day in an ever-escalating tale, bringing green and gold joy to readers.

Thematic Collections for Seasonal Reading

  • Mike Berenstain: As part of the Berenstain Bears series, Berenstain offers The Berenstain Bears’ St. Patrick’s Day, giving young readers a family-centric perspective on the holiday.  It’s a narrative where luck is on Pete’s side as the characters prepare to make it to the parade without causing any trouble.
  • James Dean: Infusing the charm of Pete the Cat, Dean’s Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase is a part of a popular series that captures the lively essence of St. Patrick’s Day through the eyes of a beloved feline character. In this adventure, Pete learns luck is actually about the friends you make along the way, not just finding four-leaf clovers.
  • Leslie McGuirk: With appealing board books like Baby’s First St. Patrick’s Day, McGuirk provides the littlest of readers a gentle introduction to the symbols and joys of this Irish holiday. It’s a soft landing into a world where two harpists set out on a journey to find them in time for the big day.

Educational Content and Nonfiction Options

Kids lying on grass and reading books in park.
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When choosing St. Patrick’s Day literature for children, educators and parents often seek out titles that provide reliable information and cultural insight. Nonfiction books can serve as a valuable teaching tool to educate children about the history of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day, and Irish culture.

Learn About Ireland and St. Patrick’s Day Through Nonfiction Books

Nonfiction titles such as St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons present well-researched facts and details, catered to a young audience. It’s a resource that combines engaging illustrations with educational content, touching on classic Irish folktale.

This book helps children understand the importance of St. Patrick’s Day and introduces them to the holiday’s origins and traditions.

Key Topics Covered in Nonfiction Books

  • The history behind St. Patrick’s Day
  • Traditional celebrations
  • Significance of symbols like the shamrock and leprechauns
  • Stories from Irish folklore, including tales of the greedy leprechaun king and the classic Irish legend

Cultural Education with Themed Nonfiction

In the spirit of holidays and celebrations, nonfiction books also delve into the broader context of Irish folklore and cultural practices. Books that explore these topics allow children to gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the cultural significance behind St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

Benefits of Cultural Nonfiction

  • Enhances knowledge of Irish folklore and traditions, including how the greedy leprechaun king has locked away the joy of music
  • Broadens perspectives on international holidays
  • Provides a foundation for cultural respect and awareness

Creative Ways to Celebrate with Books

Engaging children with St. Patrick’s Day-themed books is an excellent approach to celebrate and educate. It instills a love for reading while immersing them in the rich traditions and legends connected to this festive holiday.

Setting Up Your Own Leprechaun Trap with Guidebooks

One fun activity is Setting Up Your Own Leprechaun Trap. Guidebooks provide step-by-step instructions on how to construct clever traps, which can be a hands-on project for the whole family. Imaginations run wild as kids try to catch a mythical leprechaun who is rumored to be hiding pots of gold.

Essential Supplies:

  • A box or container
  • Green paint or paper
  • Decorative items like shamrocks or glitter

Inspirational Ideas for St. Patrick’s Day Family Fun

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, another section of the book offers Inspirational Ideas for Family Fun. Families can enjoy reading about traditions such as enjoying green eggs for breakfast, and then take on activities like making green bagpipes from household items. They can introduce kids to ‘Lucky Tucker’, a story that often prompts laughter and joy, followed by a hunt for their own ‘luck’ based on the tale.

Creative Activities:

  • Cook a Green-Themed Meal: Try preparing and eating green eggs or other green treats.
  • Craft Leprechaun Kisses: Create small green, gold, or rainbow-colored crafts that symbolize the elusive leprechaun’s kisses.

Extensions and Beyond the Book

When it comes to enriching the experience of St. Patrick’s Day reading, interactive follow-up activities and community engagements can greatly enhance a child’s learning and enjoyment.

Whether it’s thematic lesson plans or neighborhood gatherings, there’s a variety of ways to extend the joy and education of St. Patrick’s Day books.

Follow-up Activities and Lesson Plans

Table 1: Follow-up Activities for Home and Classroom

Book TitleActivity IdeaEducational Focus
How to Catch a LeprechaunLeprechaun Trap Design ChallengeEngineering, Problem Solving
The Story of Saint Patrick’s DaySaint Patrick History Comic StripHistory, Creative Writing
  • Crafts on the Farm: The theme is the ’12 Days of St. Patrick’s Day’. Families can visit a local farm for a themed day. The day includes crafts, storytelling, and learning about agriculture. Additionally, there could be a playful contest. This contest might be to name the finest piece of artwork. Or, it could be to find the biggest potato in the world on the farm. As a result, the activities become both educational and fun.
  • Cooking and Baking: One activity involves making Irish soda bread. Another is decorating shamrock cookies. These activities offer a delicious way to bring book themes into the kitchen. Furthermore, children might enjoy a specific story. This story could be about a character wanting to prove their baking skills. They aim to bake the best loaf, inspired by tales of Tralee and Tralah.

Community Events and Library Programs

  • Parade Participation: Joining the local St. Patrick’s Day parade can give children a chance to engage with the community. Libraries or schools might organize groups to participate in towns like Tralee, known for its festivities. This could also include a scavenger hunt for four leaf clovers, adding an adventurous element to the day.
  • Book Clubs and Story Hours: Many libraries host special holiday reading sessions. Thematic books like those focused on the holiday can feature with accompanying discussions and activities. Perhaps, a story about a greedy man named Tim spies on a pot of gold and tries to steal it, fostering discussions on morals and consequences.
  • ‘Tralah’ Event: Libraries or bookstores may host a ‘Tralah’ event. This event is a playful interpretation of an Irish folklore storytelling session. It aims to enhance the cultural context of the books children read. During these sessions, various stories might be told. One could be about the best harpist in all of Ireland. Another might feature a mischievous leprechaun making off with his gold. These stories ignite imaginations and foster cultural appreciation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some fun St. Patrick’s Day-themed books for young readers?

Children can enjoy “Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato”. This book combines an Irish folktale with humor and whimsy. It makes for a fun read.

Can you recommend educational children’s books about the history of St. Patrick?

“The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day” educates children about the holiday’s origins. It tells the story of Patrick the Saint’s life and legacy in a simple way for kids.

Which picture books about St. Patrick’s Day are best for preschoolers?

Preschoolers will like “The 12 Days of St. Patrick’s Day”. It has bright illustrations that show the holiday’s traditions in a way young kids can understand.

Are there any engaging St. Patrick’s Day stories suitable for elementary-level students?

For elementary students, “St. Patrick’s Day” by Gail Gibbons offers nonfiction content. It does so in a simple way that attracts young readers.

What children’s books include activities to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

Kids will find books with St. Patrick’s Day activities exciting. These books encourage a hands-on celebration and understanding of the holiday.

Could you suggest children’s books that feature leprechauns and Irish folklore?

Books that focus on leprechauns and Irish folklore let kids explore St. Patrick’s Day in a magical way. They dive into Ireland’s rich cultural stories.


As our journey through the enchanted world of St. Patrick’s Day, books for kids comes to a close, we’re reminded of the vibrant tapestry of tales and traditions these stories weave into the hearts of young readers. They not only entertain but also educate, blending folklore with fun activities that extend the joy of reading into interactive learning experiences. Here’s to hoping that these enchanting stories continue to inspire and engage young minds, spreading the luck and magic of St. Patrick’s Day throughout the year.

About Krystal DeVille

Hello! I’m Krystal DeVille. By day, I wear many hats: a homeschool teacher, wife, and mother. By night, I’m a fervent journalist, pouring my thoughts and experiences onto paper. Parenthood, for me, has been an exhilarating roller-coaster filled with emotions, invaluable lessons, and moments of sheer joy. With three wonderful kids of my own, I’ve journeyed through the highs and lows — from sleepless nights to their very first steps and those unforgettable proud parent moments.

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