Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Shamrocks and Daffodills

I know it's almost Spring when I walk into my favorite market, Trader Joe's, and see all their little bunches of daffodils for sale!  It makes me so happy to see the blooms every morning like bright yellow faces greeting me from their vase on our kitchen table, trumpeting, "Winter is over, Spring is coming!"...

Did you know...?

  • In the Victorian days, Daffodils represented chivalry.
  • Today they represent hope.
  • A gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness.
  • Their botanic name is narcissus, but they are sometimes called jonquils; and in England, because of their long association with Lent, they’re known as the “Lent Lily.” 
  • Daffodils are the national flower of Wales - traditionally worn on March 1, St. David's Day.

Which brings me to March 17 - another saint's day - St. Patrick's Day, and...Shamrocks!
Fun Facts:

  • Did you know that there is no such thing as a "Shamrock Plant"? 
  • The word shamrock comes from the Irish word "seamrog" meaning "little clover" 
  • Saint Patrick used the plant to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
  • Shamrocks have been considered by the Irish as good-luck symbols since earliest times, and this superstition has persisted in modern times among people of many nationalities.
  • St Patrick's Day is celebrated around the world, with the "wearin' o' the green".

Every year I've highlighted the same book for St. Patrick's Day (I honestly haven't seen another picture book that I like better about this wonderful saint!)  It's a beautifully written and illustrated book by Zachary Lynch.

Your children will love Zachary's telling of The Life of Saint Patrick, Enlightener of the Irish, published by Conciliar Press. His gorgeous Celtic illuminations bring the story to life, and draw us into the isolated land of a pagan Irish King and his druids. 

Born in Scotland, St. Patrick was captured at the age of 16 and brought to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. During this time, he came to have a deep faith in God, and eventually escaped. After returning home, he became a priest and then a bishop and later went back to Ireland as a missionary, bringing Christianity to its people. He died March 17, 461. 

St. Patrick faced many dangers, but said, "I was not afraid of these things, because of the promise of heaven, because I have thrown myself into God's hands, who reigns over all things."
Make this shamrock potato print - source here

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