March 12, 2010, Epoch Times
A simple and sweet tale highlighting the traditions of Ireland’s day
Holiday-centric books for children pack bookstore shelves upon the arrival of each special observance and vary wildly in quality and substance. “Saint Patrick’s Day in the Morning” by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Jan Brett is a standout picture book for young ones centering on the March celebration of the Emerald Isle.
Young Jamie is the first awake in his house, along with his dog Nell, early in the morning of Saint Patrick’s Day. He is disappointed to find the green parade sashes laid out for his older brothers and father but not for him. “‘It’s not fair, Nell,’ Jamie said. ‘I want to walk in the parade too. They say I’m too small. That I couldn’t get to the top of Acorn Hill. But what do they know?’”
Jan Brett’s delightful sketches, bathed in green and gold, and Eve Bunting’s simple story follows Jamie through the streets of his Irish village, just as dawn begins to break. With his dog and flute in tow, Jamie encounters the locals while making his way along the parade route before the day’s celebrations begin. Upon his triumphant arrival at the top of the hill, he greets the sun and leaves an Irish flag in a soda bottle to prove he was there. Then he parades back home before his family awakens.
“Saint Patrick’s Day in the Morning” was first published in 1983 and is a charming story portraying a boy’s determination and independence in the face of others’ doubts. This relatable theme any time of year is set amidst the lovely traditions of the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and a perfect read the weeks leading up to March 17.
“Saint Patrick’s Day in the Morning” is published by Clarion Books and available in most bookstores.