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St. Patrick's Day

Written by Anne Rockwell

Illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

HarperCollins (2010)

Today in Mrs. Madoff’s class everyone wore something green to school. Kate played the fiddle and we danced to Irish music. Then we learned about St. Patrick and many Irish tales and traditions. Now we know why there are no snakes in Ireland. Not everyone in school is Irish, but we can all celebrate St. Patrick’s Day together.


“ The children in Mrs. Madoff’s classroom are once again participating in holiday-related activities: wearing something green, writing reports, acting in a play, dancing a jig. Evan is lucky enough to be all Irish, and he shows a picture of himself on a visit to his grandparents in Ireland. At home, he continues to celebrate. Lizzy Rockwell’s clear, vivid spreads evoke an active learning environment (though really now, 10 students?). The title does not mention Catholicism or Patrick’s role as a Saint, and avoids any religious elements in the traditions (the three leaves of a shamrock are usually said to represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but not here). However, St. Patrick’s Day has become a secular holiday, and this welcome addition to the series clearly outlines the importance of this day in March on which everyone is Irish. ”

— School Library Journal

“ This is a very kid-friendly explanation of what St. Patrick’s Day is all about. The story is told from a child’s perspective and is set within a school classroom (most likely a kindergarten class). The class is led in a discovery type learning experience and encouraged to make group presentations, which gives a very familiar feel to the readers. The illustrations are colorful and energetic—a good representation of this lively Irish holiday. A wonderful introduction to Irish traditions and culture! ”

— The Children's Review Network

“ The latest in the Rockwells' long-running holiday series, which takes place mostly in the elementary-school classroom of Mrs. Madoff, this picture book showcases a harmonious, multicultural group of students ready to learn more about other cultures. On the opening spread, the mother-and-daughter team dispense with the most obvious of St. Patrick’s Day trappings: the wearing of green. (No mention of pinching those who disobey.) Instead, happy groups of two and three work on holiday projects, including a play featuring St. Patrick and a bunch of fleeing snakes (made from socks). Anne Rockwell’s text is light and appealingly conversational, while Lizzy Rockwell's illustrations are cheerful and unobtrusive. ”

— Booklist