One of my favorite things about a holiday is breaking out the boxes of holiday-themed books we stash in our living room closet every season. The Christmas book box is extremely heavy, followed by Halloween and Thanksgiving, but I've realized our St. Patrick's Day children's book collection is seriously lacking. As in, I don't think we have any. That may not sound too terrible, but for having a kid who counts Lucky Charms as a food group, a husband whose family is Irish Catholic, and my own last name being Darby (oh the Darby O'Gill and the Little People jokes I heard as a kid), I feel like we're missing out on a giant chunk of literature.
Like many holiday books, most of the ones on this list feature popular children's book characters like Pete the Cat and Curious George, but there are also some sweet renditions that take a page from other popular holiday books — like The Night Before Christmas. Whether you celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a green breakfast and a trail of leprechaun glitter or you often forget March 17 exists, these eight books will get you and your kids into the spirit of the Irish holiday.
1. 'How to Catch a Leprechaun' by Adam Wallace & illustrated by Andy Elkerton
For kids, St. Patrick's Day is all about the leprechaun lore, so celebrate those tricky little magical beings with How to Catch a Leprechaun. With bright, fun illustrations and catchy rhymes, the picture book shares all about the mischief leprechauns cause, and what you can do about it.
2. 'Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase' by James Dean
I mean, if you slap Pete the Cat on any book, it's a huge win, but Pete the Cat: The Great Leprechaun Chase is really fun. Everyone's favorite cool cat is back in this adventure that includes Pete opening his own leprechaun catching business — but we all know how tough that job can be. As you'd expect, hijinks ensue.
3. 'There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover' by Lucille Colandro & illustrated by Jared Lee
I've lost count of how many books my 4-year-old has about the old lady who spends her days swallowing holiday-themed items, but I know we don't have There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover. Of course, swallowing a clover sounds fairly easy, but everyone knows how determined this old lady is. In this version of her story, she's specifically swallowing items to make a rainbow for hiding a pot of gold. I'd suggest just swallowing some rain and sunshine, but you know it's just not that easy.
4. 'Ten Lucky Leprechauns' by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook & illustrated by Jay Johnson
I can't get over how cute the cover of Ten Little Leprechauns is, but the story itself is equally adorable. Your kiddo will love counting along with you to 10 as one little leprechaun looks for his treasure at the end of the rainbow.
5. 'The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever' by Teddy Slater & illustrated by Ethan Long
Luck and St. Patrick's Day are supposed to go hand-in-hand, but in The Luckiest St. Patrick's Day Ever, it's especially so. With sweet rhymes and fun illustrations, kids will love joining this little leprechaun family as they celebrate their favorite day of the year.
6. 'The Night Before St. Patrick's Day' by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Amy Wummer
The Night Before St. Patrick's Day puts a delightful twist on that Christmas classic as a brother and sister team up to set their leprechaun traps the night before the big day. All through the house, the bagpipes are playing and green eggs are cooking, but what will they do if they actually catch a leprechaun?
7. 'The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun' by Jeffrey Burton & illustrated by Sanja Rescek
Oof, I just can't with this adorable cover. In The Itsy Bitsy Leprechaun, kids are introduced to an Irish rendition of the classic "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" as one little leprechaun prepares for the big day.
8. 'Happy St. Patrick's Day, Curious George' by H. A. Rey
Like Pete the Cat and the little old lady that's constantly swallowing stuff (gut of steel, that one), Curious George is a popular book character that's weaved his way into all of the holidays. In our own home, we love the Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween editions, but now we'll have to add Happy St. Patrick's Day, Curious George to our collection. Like the other Curious George holiday books, this one breaks down all of the fun parts of the celebration as George makes his way through a feast, a parade, and a leprechaun search.