Read It, Make It: Books and a Craft for St. Patrick’s Day

by Patricia J. Murphy

Photo credit: Anna Bizon

Wait. Do you see him? If you blink, you might miss the most interesting and hard-to-find Irish fairies called leprechauns. Keep your eyes open, and you might see one!

Irish folklore says if you befriend an Irish leprechaun, you will get three wishes. To honor these hard-to-find and magical fellows (Strange fact: There are no female leprechauns in Irish folktales!), we’ve pulled together three tales that will make you see a whole lot of green. These festive books will get you into the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday celebrated by people and leprechauns the world over.

  • Read It!

  • Choose one or all three of these lovely, lively leprechaun stories to kick off your St. Patrick’s Day festivities!

  • I’m a Leprechaun

    by Mallory C. Loehr, illustrated by Brian Biggs

    Available from:

    Green suit (check), red hair (check), pointy ears (check, check), and a beard from ear to ear (check). This sweet tale has all the fixings for a magical first (or 100th!) encounter with what the Irish call leprechauns, fairies, and “little ones.” So, grab this book, dress your kids in green clothes, serve your favorite green foods (i.e., store-bought or use green food coloring in cookies, bread, drinks, and mayo! And, don’t forget about green vegetables and fruits!), and read this leprechaun story on St. Patrick’s Day or any day you want to feel a little Irish!

    Also available from:
  • St. Patrick’s Day, Here I Come!

    by D.J. Steinberg, illustrated by Emanuel Wiemans

    Available from:

    Did you know the Irish have “The Gift of Gab,” or the ability to talk and tell grand stories? It’s true. Irish writers such as Samuel Beckett, James Joyce, John Swift, Oscar Wilde, and William Butler Yeats are considered some of the best storytellers and/or poets who ever lived. In St. Patrick’s Day, Here I Come, Steinberg offers tips on celebrating the holiday through this poetry collection. Whether Irish by birth or just for the day, young readers will enjoy these rhythms and rhymes about St. Patrick’s Day festivities. There are poems about Irish dancing, searching for lucky four-leaf clovers, joining a festive St. Patty’s Day Parade, and more!

    Erin go braugh!* (That’s an Irish greeting and toast that means Ireland forever!) You do not want to miss this craic — the Irish word for fun!

    Also available from:
  • The Leprechaun Under the Bed

    by Teresa Bateman, illustrated by Paul Meisel

    Available from:

    This sweet cautionary tale delightfully details what happens when Irishman Sean McDonald tries to build a small house atop a leprechaun’s underground home. The crafty leprechaun pulls out his best scary tactics and magical tricks to dissuade him! Readers will sit on the edge of their seats with every page turn to see if McDonald can stand his ground and keep building or if the leprechaun gets the best of him. Or if together they discover an even greater treasure. (Hint: Possibly friendship).

    Also available from:


Photo credit: Patricia J. Murphy

Celebrate the magic of St. Patrick’s Day by inviting leprechauns into your home or yard with these magical leprechaun doors!

Fun fact: Irish fairy doors exist throughout Ireland and in the U.S., too. (See photo.) These doors lead to leprechaun and fairy houses!

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard boxes
  • Construction paper
  • Copier paper
  • Kid-friendly scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue sticks
  • Crayons, markers, or colored pencils — whatever you have around the house.

How to Make and Display a Leprechaun Door:

Step 1: Use a cardboard box (e.g., a cereal box, shoe box, pasta box, eyeglass box, etc.), cardboard sheets, tag board, copier paper, or whatever you have on hand to create your leprechaun door. We chose cereal boxes, but any box or cardboard will do.
Step 2: Draw three sides of the door on the front of the box with a pencil or pen. Next, cut along the lines to create the door. Then, fold the door towards you to open and close.
Step 3: Decorate the front of your door to entice leprechauns to enter. If desired, decorate all four sides and the inside of your fairy door box. Use markers, construction paper, recycled paper, and your imagination.
Step 4: Use a handful or two of pennies or beans to weigh down your box so it can stand upright. We used pennies and made round “golden” coins with yellow construction paper.
Step 5: Lean your lovely leprechaun door against an inside wall in your house, near the outside front door of your home, against a front or backyard tree, or wherever you and your little one decide. Use painter’s tape to fasten your doors to interior walls, or use string, yarn, and nature-friendly items (e.g., fallen branches or rocks) if you take your leprechaun door outside.
Step 6: Experiment with different boxes, materials, and ways to display them indoors or outdoors. Remember to leave only footprints behind. Consider keeping your door up long past St. Patty’s Day (leprechauns and Irish fairies are always around!) or reuse and recycle your doors and leftover supplies. Remember, leprechauns aren’t the only ones who can be green!
Step 7: Leave a note beside your leprechaun doors for unsuspecting family members, friends, and neighbors to brighten their St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!