St. Patrick’s Day Fun with Reading at Our House and Famous Irish Authors

At our house we love St. Patrick’s Day. I suppose it’s because my dad has always loved Ireland, stemming from his grandparents, and even named me Erin after the country (Erin means Ireland; Erin Go Braugh! meaning Ireland forever). My three kids and I like to hide leprechauns for treats, eat green foods like my homemade Irish Stew and Soda Bread, drink Shamrock Shakes, and talk about both the magical fun of St. Patty’s Day as well as the life of the Saint for whom the holiday is celebrated. Do you have any fun traditions?

I have a few things to share regarding all things Irish in the way of books and authors.

  • Children’s book the kids and I enjoyed on St. Patrick
  • Video feature on Irish authors from Open Road Media
  • Highlight on historical Irish fiction author Michael K. Reynolds

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland

Patrick, Patron Saint of IrelandThis year Open Road Media gave me a complimentary copy of a digitally mastered children’s book by legendary illustrator and author, Tomie dePaola, who kept to his half Irish roots by publishing a picture book with Holiday House that teaches about the life of Patrick, who would of course become St. Patrick, as well simply stating some of his most famous legends.  Open Road Media’s partnership with Holiday House allowed them to publish digitally.

I read the book with my 9-year-old and 5-year-old girls on the Ipad after perusing it myself on the Kindle.  My 13-year-old son listening in the background as he loves all things history. I enjoyed reading about St. Patrick’s life as he was born to British nobility but was sold into slavery. Overcoming many obstacles, he heard the call of the Irish people and went to spread God’s word to the land. He even formed the first church in Ireland.

Emma (age 9)  found it inspiring “because it taught me that if you trust in God and lean on your own faith, then good things can happen for you.”  She also liked how he used the Shamrock’s three leaves to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity.  Addie (age 5) said “I liked it because he chased the snakes away so they wouldn’t bite.”

The story and tales were very interesting, but with the artwork being so beautiful I’d much rather have this in print version picture book format; however, it was better formatted and easier to read to the girls on the Ipad screen than the Kindle. The girls and I did enjoy being able to read about St. Patrick during our weekend St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Even though digital, we were still able to appreciate his beautifully drawn scenes of St. Patrick’s life. It’s a good one to add to our e-collection and would be for you if you like reading books to your children at the holidays.

Now, Emma wants to know……where did that first Shamrock sprout up from? (if anyone knows….leave a comment!)

Patrick, Patron Saint of Ireland Synopsis~

The story of Patrick’s life, from his noble birth in Britain, to his being captured and taken to Ireland by a group of bandits, to the “dreams” that led him to convert the Irish people to the Christian faith. DePaola also retells several well-known legends, including the story of how Patrick got rid of all the snakes in Ireland.

  • File Size: 2596 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (March 5, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Tomie dePaola Biography~

tomie_bronteTomie dePaola (pronounced Tommy da-POW-la) is best known for his books for children.

He’s been published for over 40 years and has written and/or illustrated nearly 250 books, including Strega Nona, 26 Fairmount Avenue, The Art Lesson, and Christmas Remembered. Over 15 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.

Tomie dePaola and his work have been recognized with the Smithson Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his “singular attainment in children’s literature,” and the Regina Medal from the Catholic Library Association.

He was also the United States nominee in 1990 for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in illustration. The American Library Association has honored him with a Caldecott Honor Book, a Newbery Honor Book, and the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

Tomie dePaola lives in New London, New Hampshire, with his Airedale terrier, Brontë, and works in a renovated 200-year-old barn. For information on his art, books, and life go to


Do you have any favorite authors of Irish descent? Open Road Media also has a great video featuring some Irish authors that talks about why the Irish are such wonderful storytellers. You can view it here by clicking on the link:

About Open Road Media~

Open Road Integrated Media is a digital publisher and multimedia content company. Open Road creates connections between authors and their audiences by marketing its e-books through a new proprietary online platform, which uses premium video content and social media. Open Road has published ebooks from legendary authors including William Styron, Pat Conroy, Jack Higgins, and Virginia Hamilton, and has launched new e-stars like Mary Glickman.


FlightoftheEarls_TILT_M1And one final plug for a very interesting Irish author by the name of Michael K. Reynolds who writes historical Irish fiction.  His first novel in my Irish historical series is titled Flight of the Earls and it covers the journey of Irish immigrants in the 1840′s. The novel is published by B&H Publishing Group.

The synopsis for Flight of the Earls describes as an epic and sweeping Irish 19th century historical series written with a cinematographic eye. It features gripping suspense, memorable characters and breathtaking settings.

My dad read this book, after spotting it on my TBR for review pile. As I said, he likes all things Irish…and he loved it!! Can’t wait for the next one. I am also looking forward to reading this.

Book One: Flight of the Earls, January 1, 2013
Book Two: In Golden Splendor, Summer 2013
Book Three: Songs of the Shenandoah, Winter 2014


See more about Michael K. Reynolds at



Filed under Book Reviews, Children and Family, Feature Articles

2 responses to “St. Patrick’s Day Fun with Reading at Our House and Famous Irish Authors

  1. One of my favorite days of the year. My family hails from Limerick. I wish I could remember most of my trips to the NYC parade.


  2. Limerick as in Limerick, Ireland? I imagine the NYC parades are amazing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s