This comprehensive list of St. Patrick’s Day children’s books offers a fun and engaging way for you and your students to celebrate this holiday. These read alouds promote thoughtful classroom discussions around cultural traditions and invite students into the magical world of folktales.
Students love listening to books about leprechauns. Some of my favorites are Fiona’s Luck, How to Catch a Leprechaun, and Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato! They make my list of must-reads every year! Learn more about these St. Patrick’s Day children’s books below!
This post highlights the following books:
- Fiona’s Luck
- The Gingerbread Man and The Leprechaun Loose in the School
- The Luckiest Leprechaun
- How to Catch a Leprechaun
- Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
- Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka
- Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill
- O’Sullivan Stew
- That’s What Leprechauns Do
- St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning
- Clever Tom and the Leprechaun
- Fiona’s Lace
- Green Shamrocks
13 St. Patrick’s Day Children’s Books
Here are the summaries of some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day children’s books to share with elementary students! Some of them are books about leprechauns, while others are not.
1. Fiona’s Luck by Teresa Bateman
Long ago, in Fiona’s Luck, there was plenty of luck all around Ireland. However, when “the big folk” came, luck stuck to them and the leprechauns started to worry there wouldn’t be enough. The Leprechaun King decides to have the leprechauns collect all the luck and lock it away. This causes huge problems for the people of Ireland as their crops don’t grow and animals can’t provide milk and eggs.
Thankfully, Fiona is a clever character and comes up with a plan to get the luck back from the leprechauns. She tricks everyone into thinking she has luck so the Leprechaun King wants her to visit. They make a deal that if she can prove she has no luck, he will grant her a wish worth all of her luck. When Fiona proves she has no luck, she is able to wish for nothing, which is the worth of her luck. With her quick thinking, Fiona wishes for a hole in the chest of luck, causing the luck to spread throughout the country.
2. The Gingerbread Man and The Leprechaun Loose in the School by Mike Lowery
The Gingerbread Man and The Leprechaun Loose in the School tells the story about a peculiar day the Gingerbread Man and his classmates had at school. It all started when they heard a laugh and saw the Leprechaun run down the hall. They followed his notes around the school, finding mess after mess that the Leprechaun created. First the music room, then the bathroom and library! The Gingerbread Man knew he had to come up with a plan to catch the Leprechaun before he made a mess of the classroom.
The Gingerbread Man gathered his supplies and set up the trap. When the Leprechaun entered the room he was covered with glue, flung across the room, and wrapped with toilet paper. The Gingerbread Man knew his trap worked and asked the Leprechaun to clean up the mess. Once the school was clean, the Gingerbread Man let go of the Leprechaun and knew he would be ready with a new plan next year.
3. The Luckiest Leprechaun by Justine Korman
In The Luckiest Leprechaun, MacKenzie O’Shammrock lives in a fairy garden that is inside a park. He is perfectly happy being alone because he must spend his time protecting his gold from Professor Chester. One day, when MacKenzie is sleeping, dirt starts falling all over his house. He goes outside to see a dog digging in the ground. When MacKenzie gets mad at the dog, she immediately apologizes. Lucky, the dog, wants to make it up to MacKenzie by being his friend or guard dog.
At first, MacKenzie is annoyed by Lucky hanging around him. However, over time, MacKenzie starts to warm up to Lucky. One day when MacKenzie is sleeping, Professor Chester comes close to stealing his gold. Thankfully, Lucky is there to scare the professor away and MacKenzie is happy to have a guard dog. However, when MacKenzie wakes up later to find his gold gone, he starts to think Lucky tricked him. He is sad to have lost his friend and his gold. Lucky returns home and explains to MacKenzie that she spent the night protecting the gold from the professor and MacKenzie realizes how great it is to have a friend.
4. How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace
In How to Catch a Leprechaun, it is almost St. Patrick’s day and a leprechaun is out and about at night. He visits many different homes where children have designed traps in hope of catching a leprechaun. At each house he visits, the leprechaun is able to get away! None of the traps are good enough to catch him. During his visit to some of the houses, the leprechaun takes time to play tricks on the children. He paints a toilet green and puts someone’s stinky sneakers in soapy water!
Students will enjoy hearing about this leprechaun’s night out and how he gets away from all of the children’s traps. It might even encourage them to try and make their own traps!
5. Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola
In Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato, Jamie O’Rourke is very lazy, especially when it comes to working. His wife Eileen does all of their planting, weeding and watering. One day, Eileen hurts her back and could not do the planting. Jamie started to worry that they wouldn’t have enough food to eat over the winter. On a late night walk to church, Jamie caught a leprechaun. Instead of taking the pot of gold, the leprechaun tricked Jamie into wishing for the biggest potato ever.
Jamie returned home to plant his potato seed and soon after it grew into a giant potato. The villagers in town were amazed and offered to help Jamie dig up the potato if he explained how he tricked the leprechaun. When the potato rolls away and blocks the road, everyone must take home pieces of the potato to eat all winter. By spring, everyone is tired of potatoes and the villagers do not want Jamie to plant more seeds. They decided to make sure he always has enough food so they never have to see a potato again.
6. Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka by Tomie dePaola
Jamie O’Rourke and the Pooka is about a very lazy man named Jamie O’Rourke whose wife goes away for about a week. His friends come over each night and make the house very messy. A surprise visitor shows up unexpectedly.
7. Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill by Tomie dePaola
In Fin M’Coul: The Giant of Knockmany Hill, the giant Fin M’Coul and his wife Oonagh live happily in their home atop Knockmany Hill. Fin M’Coul’s days are filled with work away from home, while Oonagh stays home to keep the house. Life is good until Cucullin, a great bully, arrives at their door and Fin M’Coul knows that he can’t avoid Cucullin forever. With the help of a fairy charm, Oonagh helps her husband outwit Cucullin, with chaotic results!
8. O’Sullivan Stew by Hudson Talbott
In O’Sullivan Stew, Kate O’Sullivan lives in Crookhaven, Ireland with her father and brothers. One day, the king demands the village witch’s horse for taxes, and, angry that nobody helped her, the witch punishes the whole town. Kate and her family decide to try and steal back the horse to raise the curse on their village, but unfortunately they are caught and sentenced to be hanged for their thievery. Using quick thinking, Kate must use her storytelling skills to save herself and her family.
9. That’s What Leprechauns Do by Eve Bunting
In the story That’s What Leprechauns Do, three leprechauns, Ari, Boo, and Col must go on a journey to place a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Although they try their best to remain focused, they manage to get into all kinds of mischief along the way. They paint a cow’s hooves red, tie Old Jamie’s long johns in a knot and put a ball in Miss Maud Murphy’s hen’s nest before finally reaching the end of the rainbow, where they place the pot of gold just in time.
10. St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting
St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning is a story about a young boy’s determination to accomplish a St. Patrick’s Day tradition. When Jamie Donovan’s family tells him that he isn’t old enough to walk with them in the local St. Patrick’s Day parade, he decides to get up extra early on St. Patrick’s Day to have his own parade, accompanied by his dog, Nell, and his flute. Using his determination, Jamie walks all the way to the top of Acorn Hill, meeting several adults from his village along the way. On top of the hill, Jamie leaves a little flag on the dancing stage to show that he had made it all by himself!
11. Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute
In Clever Tom and the Leprechaun, Tom Fitzpatrick is taking a walk when he hears something in the hedge at the side of the road. When he goes to look, he sees a tiny leprechaun! Tom thinks that, if he catches and scares the leprechaun, then he’ll give Tom his gold, and then he’ll be rich by the end of the day. Having made his plan, Tom approaches the leprechaun, but it seems that the creature is aware of Tom trickery. However, Tom manages to capture the leprechaun and eventually it agrees to show him where the gold is hidden.
When the leprechaun finally leads Tom to the spot, he realizes that he has to get his spade, so he ties his red garter to the bush to mark the spot. Although he gets the leprechaun to agree not to move the garter, when Tom returns, he finds that the creature had one last trick up its sleeve!
12. Fiona’s Lace by Patricia Polacco
Fiona’s Lace is about the author’s great-great-grandmother, Fiona, who has to move with her family from Ireland to Chicago after the local mill closes. With hardly any options for work, the family ends up working as indentured servants for a wealthy family. Fiona, who has a talent for making lace, decides to try and sell her lace so that her family might have enough money to buy their own land. However, when a fire destroys a large part of the city, Fiona and her sister begin leaving bits of lace throughout the city to show their parents where they are. Students will love this heartwarming book, which is based on a true story, about how Fiona’s talent brought her family closer together during difficult times.
13. Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting
In anticipation for St. Patrick’s Day, Rabbit decides to grow his own shamrocks in the book Green Shamrocks. He finds a golden pot in the woods to grow his seeds in, and rolls it all the way back to his house. Rabbit takes good care of his seedlings, and each day they begin to grow stronger. On the day before St. Patrick’s Day, the shamrocks are finally ready. However, when Rabbit wakes up, the shamrocks are gone! He asks Squirrel and Woodchuck but they don’t seem to know anything about the shamrocks. Finally, Rabbit asks Goat, and Goat tells him that the shamrocks blew into his house the night before, and he says that they are his now. Fortunately, the two manage to come to an agreement so they both have what they want at the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
St. Patrick’s Day Book Activities
This collection of St. Patrick’s Day children’s books are a great way to celebrate the holiday with your elementary students. They are great winter read alouds! If you need activities to go with the St. Patrick’s books, then check out the ones below!
The following resources are part of my Starts With a Story collection:
- Fiona’s Luck book companion activities
- Clever Tom and the Leprechaun book companion activities
- How to Catch a Leprechaun book companion activities
- Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato book companion activities
- That’s What Leprechauns Do book companion activities
- The Gingerbread Man and The Leprechaun Loose in the School book companion activities
- The Luckiest Leprechaun book companion activities
Activities for Any Saint Patrick’s Day Book
Free Reading Resources
Download these free reading resources for elementary teachers!