Pop quiz: in twenty words or less, why do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?
If your answer is full of elipses and mumbled words like “leprecans,” “Ireland” or “some dude named Patrick,” then you’re sitting in the same boat I was before I came across Patrick: the Patron Saint of Ireland.
A few months back, it occurred to me that a number of our holidays are based upon some fascinating figures in church history, figures with challenging and inspiring stories that have, for the most part, been overshadowed by frothy glasses of Guinness and conversation hearts. So when I gave some thought to how we would celebrate these holidays in our family, I found the answer right there on the calendar in front of me: St. Patrick. Who was that guy, anyway?
And that is where Tomie dePaola comes in.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland tells the story of Patrick’s life, neatly divided into biography—and one full of adventure, at that—and legend, as dePaola uses the latter pages of the book to detail the different legends surrounding the life of Patrick. It is, of course illustrated in dePaola’s unique style, and the pictures tell the story with as much punch and detail as the narrative.
This is a great book to read around St. Patrick’s Day, yes, but it makes for fascinating reading all year round, as it provides you with an opportunity to teach your little one about the saints that have gone before us.
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
Tomie de Paola (1994)