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Children's LiteratureThe book begins with three evocative sentences about Ireland's greenness, but leaves the reader clueless about why Ireland's green is more worth talking about than say, Wisconsin's. Despite that omission, the book covers Ireland's geography, climate, family life, pets, places to visit, and laws, rules and customs rather well. A sidebar on potatoes in Ireland is the major reference to history. Four pages are devoted to Irish legends, but Saint Patrick and leprechauns are the only ones discussed. This legend-rich country has Brian Boru, Cuchulain, Finn MacCool, Strongbow and many more, so the focus on one legend seems narrow. The text does make an important point that usually "legends make a true story seem more important than it really is." A recipe for Irish tea bread has a note about customary times for tea in Ireland. Instructions for the Dead Fox Game, a favorite with Irish children, includes phonetic pronunciation for its chant in Irish Gaelic. Finally there are instructions for a craft project on growing a leprechaun. The well-illustrated book includes many photographs, a map, as well as a list of words to know, sources for further information, Internet sites, and an index. 2004, Blue Earth Books/Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 9.
— Janet Crane Barley