Spring -- St. Patrick's Day

FICTION / NONFICTION

Bateman, Teresa.  HARP O’ GOLD.  Illus by Jill Weber  New York:  Holiday, 2001.
    32p.  0-8234-1523-6; hb., $16.95   99-18821  K-3   E

    The acrylic and watercolor illustrations work with the text of this St. Patrick’s Day read aloud.  The moral of this cautionary tale is to be careful what you wish for in case it comes true.  Tom’s complaint, that his dream of becoming a rich minstrel is due to his ordinary harp, is overheard by a leprechaun.  Sean O’Dell gives Tom a golden harp that makes him rich. Now he has to perform for people who don’t care about music yet decide when and where he can play.   When Tom becomes an honored guest, yet a prisoner at the palace, he longs for his old life.  Can Tom recover from his dream turned into a nightmare?  There is no doubt about the ending because of it’s parallel to King Midas’s problem in this story worthy of the holiday.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

NONFICTION

Bateman, Teresa.  LEPRECHAUN GOLD.  Illus by Rosanne Litzinger.
    New York: Holiday, 1998. 32p.   0-8234-1344-6; hb., $16.95
    0-8234-1514-7; pb., $6.95     97-19111    K-Gr. 3     E

    Donald O’Dell saves the life of a leprechaun who gives him gold that Donald won’t accept.  So the leprechaun makes Donald’s cow wander off to the farm of Maureen who has a leaky roof that he fixes.  Marureen feeds Donald and lets him sleep in her barn.  The friendship begins.  “There is more than one kind of gold in this world.  She has hair of gold and a heart to match.”  So Donald gets a golden girl for his wife.  There are so few stories for St. Patrick’s Day and this one works as a read aloud as well as has a worthwhile message without being didactic.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

Tompert, Ann.  SAINT PATRICK.  Illus. by Michael Garland. Honesdale, PA:
    Boyds Mills, 1998.  unp.  1–56397-659-5; hb., $14.95   97-72774    Gr.  5+
    92  or  270.2

    According to the author's note, one of two letters written by St. Patrick called "Confession" was the main source for this book although other sources were consulted. Celtic borders around the text give the book an Irish flavor but make the mixed media illustrations on the opposite page seem bereft of a border.  The mixed media illustrations are adequate for the job.  The biography begins with the birth of a boy named Succat,  later named Patrick, who was born in southwest Britain in the fourth century.  At age 16 Patrick left his comfortable home when he was captured by Irish pirates and sold into slavery to an Irish chieftain or king where he was assigned to guard sheep.  Patrick was not a religious boy but during his six years of slavery, he began talking with God.   Then  a voice told him a ship was ready to take him back to his own country and it came to pass.  Although his parents did not want him to leave again, God told Patrick in a dream that he was to go back to Ireland and convert the people to Christianity.  After becoming a priest and then a bishop, Patrick finally returned to Ireland where he baptized and confirmed many people over 30 years.  The two most commonly known stories about St. Patrick are mentioned in the Author's Note: using the shamrock to explain the trinity and expelling the snakes from Ireland.   Since most of the books about St. Patrick are legends, this biography is a welcome addition especially where books about the saints are in demand.  Public librarians can display the book during March with other holiday books.
     Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
     32 years experience as a school library/media specialist

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