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Saint Patrick the Forgiver–The History and Legends of Ireland’s Bishop
Saint Patrick the Forgiver
retold and illustrated by Ned Bustard
Is Saint Patrick’s Day just a great time of celebrating Irish heritage with parades, green beer, and shamrocks? Ned Bustard shares the real story of St. Patrick along with some of the tall tales that have surrounded his legacy. In his book Saint Patrick the Forgiver, Ned Bustard retells the ancient story in poem format that is suitable for young and old.
Patrick was born in 385 in England. He was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Ireland where he worked as a shepherd. He had an encounter with God and became a follower of Christ. Later God spoke to him in a vision, provided a boat, and led him safely on the long journey back to his family.
After this escape he had another vision that he was to return to the land and people who had enslaved him. He was able to forgive them because God had forgiven him.
This book is a treasure of spiritual truths, beautiful poetry, and fitting illustrations. Saint Patrick the Forgiver would be a wonderful addition to your St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It shares history and legend differentiating between the two. Most importantly it teaches the lesson of forgiveness.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Christian, Religion and Spirituality
Notes: 1. The author’s note at the end summarizes the book in prose and has two discussion questions, a verse from Ephesians on forgiveness, and two resources for further reading.
2. Intended Ages—4-8, but it would make great family reading for all ages.
3. Currently Amazon has a special pre-order price for this hardback that is almost 50% off. (I have no financial connection with Amazon; I just noticed the price when I looked for the age range.)
Publication: 2/21/2023—InterVarsity Press (IVP Kids)
Hello, my name is Patrick—
you may have heard my story.
I walked the span of Ireland
to tell of God’s great glory.
To the Irish I returned
to preach of love and grace.
I spoke first to the High King’s son
—our Lord he did embrace.
I saw the Spirit moving
all across the Emerald Isle.
It wasn’t luck—it was God’s grace,
and that always makes me smile!
Out, Mouse!–cute Irish tale
written by Valerie L. Egar
audio narration by Paul Collins
Finn, an elderly Irish man, has unwelcome visitors as a mice family makes themselves at home in his cottage. Finn takes advice from Professor Dunderbutt’s book and writes a series of kind letters to Mr. and Mrs. Mouse making suggestions of places they would probably prefer to live. Unfortunately for Finn, they always find something unsuitable about the places he suggests. I won’t spoil the ending, but I’ll say that it did make me smile.
I was referred to this book by blogging book reviewer Carla at Carla Loves to Read. She mentions in her review that she listened to the audio version while reading the printed text. I have been wanting to dip into the many audio versions of books currently offered. With an actor reading this with an Irish accent, this book seemed like the perfect one to begin my listening adventure. Although I will probably continue to prefer the written word, I did enjoy listening to this narration which was very well performed.
I would like to extend my thanks to NetGalley and to Whistle Oak for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Children’s Fiction, Humor, Multicultural
Notes: 1. Publisher Recommended Ages: 6-9 years
2. Includes a section that encourages students to create pictures of what they imagined as they read the story.
Publication: April 6, 2021—Whistle Oak
Finn knew something was wrong as soon as he opened the door to his cottage. Something or someone, had made a mess of the breakfast he’d placed on the table before taking his morning walk.
If the mice don’t like your first idea, keep writing letters. Sooner or later, one of your letters will work and they will move. This method NEVER fails.
He found a scrap of red cloth and tied it around his neck. A tiny brass nail became a make-believe sword. He held it tightly in his hand, waving it back and forth.
Fatal Roots–mystery of fairy forts
by Sheila Connolly
Maura Donovan is as American as can be until she inherits a pub, house, and assorted pasture lands in Ireland from an Irish friend of her grandmother’s. In Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly, Maura has lived in Ireland about a year and is becoming comfortable with her new country, role of ownership, and relationship with her boyfriend Mick and other new friends in the small town in Cork.
Life gets more complicated for Maura when Ciara, a post graduate student in archaeology shows up on her doorstep requesting permission to examine Maura’s early Irish fairy forts. Maura doesn’t know where her various acreages lie and doesn’t know what a fairy fort is or anything about the superstitions surrounding them. In the process of rolling out this tale, there is a grizzly discovery, Maura’s mother who abandoned her as a child comes to Cork on business bringing Maura’s half sister, and Maura makes changes to the pub so she can sell food.
Throw in Mick’s grandmother Bridgett and Old Billy who lives above the pub and you have a good basis for a plot. I liked the story, but repetition hampered the enjoyment for me. I had to hear over and over again of Maura’s background, the Irish attitude toward fairy forts, Maura’s angst about…everything—her family, her relationship with Mick, superstitions, decisions about kitchen remodeling, the student archaeologists. The plot was wrapped up nicely, and the epilogue provided emotional closure for characters that I really liked. I also enjoyed learning about fairy forts, which are a mystery in themselves and go by many names.
I would like to extend my thanks to Netgalley and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #8 in the County Cork Mystery Series
Publication: January 7, 2019—Crooked Lane Books
But it was beginning to seem like any time anything happened, it was like scraping off the present to see pieces of the past.
“I could show yeh, but it really doesn’t have an address.” “Neither does my place. So far it’s ‘the cottage halfway up the hill, past the yellow cottage. If you reach the piggery you’ve gone too far.’ This is all so not like Boston.”
Life was too short, with too many unexpected twists and turns, to wait for the one perfect moment, if there even was such a thing.
The Lost Traveller–a mysterious victim
The Lost Traveller
by Sheila Connolly
I was delighted to have an opportunity to get my first taste of Sheila Connolly’s mysteries as she has a number of books and series to her credit. I don’t usually start a series this far in (#7), but Connolly does a good job of introducing her characters. She starts The Lost Traveller off with a nervous American family, first time travelers abroad, visiting Sullivan’s Pub, giving the author a natural opportunity to explore the setting with the reader and present Maura, the American owner of the pub. The pace continues briskly as Maura, on lunch break, spots what appears to be a trash bag down a ravine on her property. It isn’t trash caught by a bridge pier, however, but something more ominous. Next we are introduced to the local gardaí (police). The plot pace moderates as Maura struggles with various types of issues—relationship, crime, business, and legal. It picks up again at the end with the resolution of some of those problems.
I enjoyed the Irish brogue and sprinkling of Irish words and names throughout. I learned more about Ireland and the Travellers, a sort of Irish version of gypsies, but they are not Romani. More information about the Travellers would have been welcome along with some character development of Peter, the father of the Traveller family that Maura meets. In fact, character development is a weak link in the book. For example, there are a group of men who frequent the pub and try to help Maura discover the identity of the victim and who murdered him. This group stands as a Greek chorus, with little revealed about any of them. They serve to reflect Maura’s progress involving the murder mystery. Although I am not thoroughly taken by the book, I enjoyed the intricacies of the plot well enough to try another book in the series.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #7 in the County Cork Mysteries, but works as a standalone.
Publication: January 8, 2019—Crooked Lane Books
Was she getting soft? She’d always been independent, mostly out of necessity. She hated to ask people for help, much less emotional support. Now she had someone in her life who offered both, although cautiously.
This was ridiculous: she was being bossed around by a child. Well, one who could definitely cook, and who knew more about computers than she did.
What had Ireland done to her? She’d gone soft. And, she realized, she kind of liked it.
Ireland the Best–you know you want to go!
Ireland the Best
by John and Sally McKenna
Ireland the Best, a travel guide, is written in the same format as Scotland the Best, albeit by a different author. I looked at the Amazon listing for that book briefly, mainly to see if the sample book contained pictures. This series of travel books is composed of well-organized lists and does not show off each locale with pictures but does include links so you can easily see the attraction, restaurant, etc. for yourself online.
Given the style of this book, understanding the organizational format is of prime importance, and so the authors begin their guide book with…a guide to the book. They want to transmit to you the best that Ireland has to offer based on their 30 years of exploring the island. To help you search in the book you can use the index, categories in the Table of Contents such as “The Best Places to Eat and Stay in Ireland’s South West,” or the map to view items in a particular locale.
Codes are of great importance in this book and seem a little daunting at first, but as you use the references they quickly become familiar. They include things like “atmos” for atmosphere and “df” for dog friendly.
Tick or check marks (✓) are awarded for outstanding listings. There are indications of price ranges and difficulty levels of walks. Attractions are coded with map references also.
The meat of the guide begins with sections on the most famous attractions in Ireland, means of transportation, annual events, contributions of the Irish, and famous film locations. Next are sections focusing on Ireland’s four largest cities. They examine the lodging accommodations, style of cooking, restaurants, pubs, attractions, shops, walks, and views for each city. Next the guide expands to regional hotels and restaurants and sections that let the reader explore more specific topics like tea rooms (e.g. Miss Marple’s Tea Rooms), graveyards (e.g. Yeats’ Grave at Drumcliff Parish Church, Co Sligo), and Irish crystal and glass (e.g. House of Waterford). The last major section explores the many islands. Each attraction or feature in the book has a nice, short paragraph describing it.
I have not been to Ireland, but this guide book certainly inspires me to visit. I think this book would be an essential tool for me in planning a trip to the Old Country of my husband’s roots and then enjoying its features while there.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Collins Reference for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Category: Reference, Travel
Publication: September 1, 2018—Collins Reference
Ireland has a fascinating past, sculpted by the great characters—knights, saints, writers, architects, freedom fighters, clerics, politicians, artists—who have shaped the nation, whether for good or for ill. We have loved discovering the castles and keeps, the graveyards and follies, the beaches and gardens that illuminate a picture of Irish culture going right back to pre-history.
Try a leisurely holiday with an Irish Cob horse, who will pull your home through the Wicklow landscape. Or go for a 7-day walk with a friendly donkey, who will walk beside you and carry your load.
The Shannon estuary is teaming with life, and Geoff and Susanne Magee run an informative tour of the river mouth running a Dolphin and Nature Boat Trip, on which you might see the bottle dolphins as well as grey seals and pelagic sea birds.