Leprechaun's Gold

Overview

In this classic Irish legend, two harpists -- merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom -- set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner -- but he doesn't reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.

Noted picture book creators Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole have imagined a joyful and fanciful ...

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Overview

In this classic Irish legend, two harpists -- merry-hearted Old Pat and ill-spirited Young Tom -- set off for a contest to name the finest harpist in all of Ireland. When Young Tom realizes that Old Pat is truly the better musician, he schemes to be the winner -- but he doesn't reckon with the clever trickery of a mischievous little leprechaun.

Noted picture book creators Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole have imagined a joyful and fanciful tale with a priceless lesson.

Old Pat, a kindhearted harpist, and his ill-spirited companion, Young Tom, set off to compete in a contest for the title of the finest harpist in Ireland. When Young Tom recognizes that Pat is truly a better musician, he spitefully breaks one of the strings on Pat's harp. With the help of a leprechaun friend, Old Pat is able to compete in the contest. This classic Irish legend is a lesson about the power of kindness and good deeds.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Two harpists set off for a contest to name the best in Ireland. "Edwards builds a mellifluous rhythm with her quaint phrasing and clean story line," wrote PW. "Cole conveys the stark differences between the two characters." Ages 4-7. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
While the story of the good-hearted man know as Old Pat may not be that new, it is nicely told and delightfully illustrated. As the tale goes, Old Pat was a harpist and a very good one. In his village there was a fellow called Young Tom who was also a good harpist, he had actually be a student of Old Pat. He charged a lot of money to play at events while Old Pat usually played for free. The king announced a harping contest and the two set out to enter the contest. It is no surprise to the readers that Young Tom is a crafty and nasty fellow and thinks that he has ruined Old Pat's chance of winning the contest. Old Pat is consistent in his behavior and befriends a leprechaun. When the contest takes place his good deed pays off and he wins the prize. On the last page, illustrator Cole challenges readers to find the sixteen four-leaf clovers that he has hidden in the pictures. A pleasant addition to a library's St. Patrick's Day or Irish collection. 2004, HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 7.
—Marilyn Courtot
Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-Librarians looking for a fresh leprechaun tale for group sharing need search no longer. The narrative flows off the tongue, and Cole's feisty caricatures are easily seen from a distance. Individual readers will enjoy looking for the shamrocks hidden throughout the scenes and in the borders. Green is applied liberally; the color even emanates from a campfire, adding to the Irish flavor. The story centers around the King's contest to choose the best harpist in the land. Young Tom is sure he can beat out Old Pat. The lad goes as far as to break the poor old fellow's harp string on their journey to the event. It seems that all is lost until Pat stops to answer a leprechaun's cry for help. Edwards deftly creates enough tension to prevent the solution from being immediately predicted. In a classic case of humility and kindness defeating vanity and selfishness, all's well that ends well. Even as Tom receives his comeuppance, he finds "generosity growing in his heart." Guaranteed to warm the cockles.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Substandard work from a usually reliable picture-book duo. Having learned harping but not generosity from Old Pat, Young Tom flees in terror when a leprechaun's cry of distress comes from the dark woods. Old Pat, however, rises to help, and at a subsequent harper's competition, Young Tom's strings break, while Old Pat plays winning music on an instrument suddenly turned to gold. So Young Tom finds "generosity growing in his heart." Cole's portly leprechaun looks like a refugee from a Keebler ad, and not only doesn't the artist bother to make his harps look realistic, he leaves the same number of strings on Old Pat's even after Young Tom has maliciously snapped one earlier on. Likewise, the talented Edwards also leaves her chops at home: "Old Pat was humble and willing to play his music for free for those he knew had not the means to pay. 'Foolish old man,' scoffed Young Tom. 'What use is a gift if not to make you rich.' " Stick with Teresa Bateman's similarly themed (and titled) Leprechaun Gold (1998). (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780066239750
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/20/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Pamela Duncan Edwards is the author of numerous popular picture books, including Livingstone Mouse; Roar! A Noisy Counting Book; Some Smug Slug; The Worrywarts; Clara Caterpillar; Wake-Up Kisses; Rosie's Roses; The Leprechaun's Gold; and Gigi and Lulu's Gigantic Fight, all illustrated by Henry Cole; as well as Dear Tooth Fairy, illustrated by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick; McGillycuddy Could!, illustrated by Sue Porter; and The Neat Line, illustrated by Diana Cain Bluthenthal. She lives in Virginia.

Henry Cole is the celebrated illustrator of many books for children, including the Bad Boys series by Margie Palatini, and is also the author and illustrator of the novel A Nest for Celeste.

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