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Fiona's Luck

Fiona's Luck

4.5 18
by Teresa Bateman

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The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.

Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.


The greedy Leprechaun King has locked away all the luck in Ireland and the whole country has fallen in to despair. Through clever charades, Fiona outwits the Leprechaun King and restores luck to the land.

Luminous illustrations add to the magic and wonder of this original folktale.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A greedy leprechaun king gets his comeuppance at the hands of a clever lass in this plucky Irish folktale. Distressed that free-roaming leprechaun luck was being soaked up by all the "big folk" who had arrived in Ireland, the king of the leprechauns ordered all his people's luck to be gathered and locked in a hidden treasure chest. Alas, they went too far and Ireland suffered its worst luck ever in the form of the potato famine. In short order, a sharp young woman named Fiona hatches a plan to retrieve Irish luck from the leprechauns, a plan that involves outsmarting the wee king with inventive reasoning and a bit of playacting. Bateman's (The Ring of Truth) original story brims with the entertaining hallmarks of folklore and fairytales (e.g., magic, a test of wits, a wish granted). But her wordy writing style often slows the proceedings and may confuse younger readers trying to puzzle out the bargain between Fiona and her leprechaun foil. Murphy's (Boll Weevil Ball) textured mixed-media compositions, in a predominantly dusky palette, keep pace with the action. Freckle-faced Fiona's changeable expressions hint at her scheming and the lively sweet-faced leprechauns flit across the pages. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)

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Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Is it better to be lucky or clever? ‘Tis a question that is asked over and over again, and here it is, once more, in a delightful tale. Long ago luck was free and plentiful in Ireland. When the big folk arrived in that country, they soon soaked up the luck, leaving little for the leprechauns. The leprechaun king would not stand for that and so he ordered all the luck to be gathered and hidden away. The big folk in Ireland soon ran out of eggs and milk, and "the potatoes rotted in the ground." Bring on a spunky heroine who has her wits about her and cleverly challenges the leprechaun king and you have a delightful original story reminiscent of the duels between humans and leprechauns in the traditional folktales of Ireland. Murphy captures the greens, browns, and golds of the Irish countryside in her softly muddied palette, while the leprechaun king's throne room glistens in jewel tones. The mountains, sheep, cottages, and stone walls form the background for the scenes of the "big people" at work, and the little people can be seen hiding behind stumps and sheep and other objects. Fiona's body language and facial expressions are just right for this tale of a battle of wits. It is perfect for a St. Patrick's Day story hour and just plain fun for the rest of the year. Lucky the children who read this cleverly composed story.
Kirkus Reviews
Like her Leprechaun Gold (1998), Bateman's latest exudes Irish flair. In this story, the leprechaun king, distraught because the newly arrived "big folk" have begun to soak up too much luck, has the leprechauns gather up all the luck they can find and lock it away in an oak chest so that he may distribute it as he pleases. With all the luck of the land under the control of the leprechaun king, the big folk suffer many hardships-until a clever woman named Fiona tricks him into putting a hole in the oak chest so that a steady stream of luck pours forth once again into the Irish air for all to share. Children will delight in the cunning way that Fiona triumphs over the leprechaun king, as well as in the rhythmic language of this well-told tale. Using acrylic, watercolor and gel medium, Murphy creates simple, angular figures and soft, rich backgrounds, a combination that perfectly accentuates the folksy charisma of Bateman's story. (Picture book. 5-9)

Product Details

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Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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File size:
26 MB
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Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Teresa Bateman was born in Moscow, Idaho, but moved to Washington State when she was three-years-old and that's where she has lived most of her life.

An avid writer and reader, Teresa has been making up stories and poems since she was in grade school. She is the author of FIONA'S LUCK, THE FROG WITH THE BIG MOUTH, and several other books for children. Teresa lives in Tacoma, Washington.

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Fiona's Luck 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
elm More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I love the size of it. I love the feel of it in my hands. I love the illustrations. I love the story. I ordered a bunch of books on line that told of the Irish and St. Patrick's Day for my grandkids library. Fiona's Luck was the first one we chose to read. The kids love Fiona, too. Some love her name, some love the tests that she took, they talked of her bravery, how clever she is..this is a story the kids talked about and a book they sat together and shared...and read more than once.
psycheKK More than 1 year ago
I remember when Fiona's Luck first came out.  One of my fellow librarians and I literally squealed with delight when we saw it.  We said, "St. Patrick's Day.  Reader's Theatre." And that is exactly what we did.  Once a month, she and I did Reader's Theatre with library books at a local bookstore.  This was one of the featured books.  Fiona's Luck is a delightful story with a clever twist.  I didn't know how Fiona would resolve her problem until she actually resolved it.  Not many people can match wits with a Leprechaun King, but Fiona manages admirably.  As wonderful as the story is, the reason we two librarians squealed with delight was the charming artwork.  Kelly Murphy (good Irish name!) creates an Ireland that is both realistic and enchanting.  Even in the heartbreaking barrenness of the first few pages, magic lurks in the corners.  Her use of color and lighting effects for setting mood is masterful. 
mere-words More than 1 year ago
I collect children's books, this book is a wondful example of the storyteller's art, fun, clever,witty and full of charm. It is a story for anytime, my bit of luck to find it, you will NOT be disappointed. I highly recomend this book.
Julie, Suaste More than 1 year ago
Love the story!
PatriciaJL More than 1 year ago
While Fiona's Luck is reminiscent of many folktales it is overall about being clever, witty, and about using one's own brain. Once upon a time, luck made by leprechauns was free for everyone in Ireland to use. However, the leprechaun king ordered all the leprechauns to gather up all the luck that he felt the humans were using too much of. Soon all the humans in Ireland are left without any luck - potatoes no longer grow, milk is no longer produced, and everyone becomes unhappy. Then a girl named Fiona arrives. After seeing all the bad luck, Fiona decides to create her own luck. In doing so, she uses her brain, her wit and her clever ways to release luck from the leprechauns for everyone to share, including the leprechauns themselves. Fiona's Luckis a great read for both children and adults. Teresa Bateman uses simple sentences to portray human characteristics everyone is capable of. More importantly, Fiona's Luck sends the message that you cannot rely on others do create your luck for you, but you have to put in the work yourself in order to achieve anything. The illustrations by Kelly Murphy are gorgeous! They are full of colors that can be seen as representative of Ireland itself: rich greens and browns. These colors are also in turn used to show how Ireland was before the luck was freed (drab and dark) and how it was after luck was freed (bright and light). Fiona's Luckis a highly recommended read, not just for the St. Patrick's Holiday, or anyone with Irish heritage, but for every child to learn about hard work and cleverness. Head on over to your local bookstore in Tucson to share this wonderful tale with all children alike!
Epicurean.Art.Lover More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book on Irish related theme when I came accross this book. What a story with totally amazing illustrations! I highly recommend this book to any parent who has that special child who has a wild imagination and believes in magic and make-believe. I have a 6 year old girl who loves the story and the pictures.
Michele_Dvorak More than 1 year ago
With my son in Kindergarten, I wanted to find a new book about St. Patricks Day to read to him. I found Fiona's Luck in the seasonal section and loved the art right away. I browsed the book; just to make sure it was worthy of a purchase and it was. That night, I read the book to my son; and each night afterwards for the month of March.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was asked to read this to a class of second graders next week. Upon reading it aloud (to myself) I was enchanted with it. I wish I had a good Irish brogue to use with the class, but I'm sure they'll love it anyway! The artwork is amazing and not the cutesy little chubby leprechaun drawings typically seen. I'm sure the class will love this book!
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