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Mary McLean and the St. Patrick's Day Parade Library Binding – February, 1991


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Trade (February 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0590437011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0590437011
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,205,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- A St. Patrick's Day picture book that blends realism and folklore. Kroll accurately portrays the difficult life of the Irish immigrants who lived in lower Manhattan in the 1850s and spices this reality with a little Irish magic in the form of a visiting leprechaun. The well-paced and satisfying story focuses on Mary McLean, a girl of nine or so, who dreams of riding in New York City's St. Patrick's Day parade. She is promised this honor if she can find a perfect shamrock somewhere in the snow-covered city. Spurred by her need to lift herself out of the drabness of her daily life, she searches tirelessly, never letting go of her dream. Her quest appears hopeless until she meets a feisty leprechaun with a shamrock; but he tricks her, dashing her hopes. Mary's father comes home on the eve of the big parade and places the shamrock in his jubilant daughter's hands. While Kroll takes delight in presenting details of the period, Dooling appears to be more concerned with the universal aspects of the story. His richly colored oil paintings--"urban realistic" in style--use light and shade, angle and perspective to bring out the emotional tone of the tale. The pictures have a warm, personal quality and shy away from an elaboration of historical details of costume and setting. In spite of divergent approaches, text and illustration together provide a well-rounded experience containing both fact and feeling. Young readers and listeners will admire Mary's vision and determination and will find, as a bonus, that they have been pleasantly introduced to an important era in our history. --Carey Ayres, Port Washington Public Library, NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Steven Kroll is the author of more than fifty picture books, including The Biggest Pumpkin Ever. His work has been translated into French, Spanish, and Japanese. He lives with his wife in New York City and Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Steven grew up in New York City, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Steven's parents were very stylish. His father had a mustache and wore suits with a vest and a watch chain. His mother wore fashionable dresses and big hats. She was a great storyteller, which is probably where his love of telling stories began.

But he also had his Upper West Side neighborhood, a wonderful ethnic stew of Jewish, Latino, Chinese, and Viennese. Wandering those streets, experiencing the restaurants and the pastry shops, the delicatessens and the movie theater, the corner drug store and the corner book shop, Steven began to recognize a wider world, a world outside his own that would make him want to tell stories, travel, and be a writer.

Many of his books have come out of that neighborhood. The kids in his building all played downstairs together, under the watchful eye of Gordon, the doorman. The sharing they did can be found in THE BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER and its sequels. The bullying, followed by sharing, can be found in JUNGLE BULLIES. The spark for his two novels of Italian immigrants in 1890's New York, SWEET AMERICA and WHEN I DREAM OF HEAVEN, came from hours listening to his night watchman, Tony, tell stories in the lobby after my Saturday night dates.

And there was Riverside Park, just a block away, where he played stickball near the railroad yards and cowboys and Indians on the green lawns, and where he watched an endless parade of dogs that morphed into an endless parade of dog stories, from IS MILTON MISSING?, his very first book, to A TALE OF TWO DOGS and POOCH ON THE LOOSE, his ode to New York at Christmastime.

Steven attended Hunter College Elementary School and McBurney. From there, he went to Harvard, graduating with a degree in American History and Literature. He decided to become an editor instead of a writer, improving other people's books instead of writing his own. But finally, he had to get out of publishing and write. He moved to Maine and struggled, writing now for both children and adults. Four years later, back in New York, Steven met a children's book editor named Margery Cuyler, who was the first to publish his work. He wrote 100 books for children, everything from picture books to American history to novels for young adults.

Steven married a journalist, Kathleen Beckett, and lived in NYC and an old carriage house in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He spoke at schools and conferences all over the world.

Steven Kroll passed away on March 8, 2011 following complications from surgery. He was the beloved author of the New York Times Bestseller's list "Biggest Ever" series from Scholastic. Two writing awards have been established in Steven's name: the Steven Kroll/PEN American Center Award for the best text of an illustrated children's book, and the Steven Kroll Writing Award, given to a deserving student at St. Joseph's School in the Bronx.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Hale on May 3, 2003
Format: Paperback
It is 1849 and Mary Mclean and her family are fresh off the boat from Ireland. Mary is excited to hear about stories and traditions from Ireland that are told by other members of the Irish community where she lives. One of the things she gets told about is the St. Patrick's Day parade. Mary is excited about this and all the stuff that surrounding it. More than anything, she wants to be part of it so she asks Mr. Finnegan, a local shop owner, if she can ride on his cart in the parade with him. Mr. Finnegan agrees but only if Mary McLean can find a perfect shamrock. This is an almost impossible task because it is winter. Mary searches and searches and she can't find one. She finally stumbles across a leprechaun who says he'll give her one later. Months later, he is back the day before St. Patrick's Day. Mary captures him and asks for the promised shamrock. The leprechaun says he lost it and tricks Mary into turning away. Mary goes home dejected. Her father comes home with a surprise! He found a shamrock for her and Mary is able to be in the parade. She's very happy.
This book is priceless. The artwork is fabulous and reminiscent of Norman Rockwell. The artwork is very engaging. Each page is laid out exactly the same. On the left side, there is the text. On the right side, there is a color illustration. The moral of the story seems to be that good things do happen to good people. This is a wonderful theme. It also seems to have a theme of good things happen to those who wait. This is something important to instill in children because so often they want things right now this very instant. The story line is entertaining and easy to follow. It is a wonderful book to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This is a story of a little girl who searches for a four leaf clover so she can be in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. The fantasy and excitement of a leprechaun appeals to my students. It lends very nicely to creative writing in the classroom. This is a must, especially for primary teachers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anna M. Ligtenberg VINE VOICE on March 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
ISBN 059043702x - Once you get past Christmas, the holiday book choices tend to get very thin for kids, which makes the ones I do find all that much more enjoyable. St Patrick's Day was almost tailor made for children's stories.

In 1849, after several years of failed crops in Ireland, Mr. McLean and his wife packed up their family and headed to America. Once there, they settled in New York, in an area with a lot of other Irish immigrants. Mary hears vague stories about what Mr. Finnegan does each year for the St. Patrick's Day parade and, when she asks for details, learns that he drives a cart pulled by two white horses and looks like an Irish hero. Mary would really like to ride in Mr. Finnegan's cart. When she asks him, Mr. Finnegan says it's possible - but she'll have to bring him a perfect shamrock... IF she can find one!

There are a couple things about this book that, as an adult, bugged me. McLean, for one thing, is a Scottish name. Surely Steven Kroll, the author, could have come up with an Irish name for his Irish family! Also, despite coming to America from Ireland and living in an Irish neighborhood, the people in the book never discuss the meaning or celebration of St. Patrick's Day, which is - at the very least - a missed opportunity.

Kroll's text is fairly simple, appropriate for the 6 to 9 age group that the book is for, according to the cover. The author also improves upon the book by including some actual, historical facts about Ireland, St. Patrick's Day and Saint Patrick, in the back. Illustrator Michael Dooling gets high praise from me. His images take up the entirety of every other page in this oversized book and that's a lot of canvas to fill. A majority of the illustrations are (Norman) Rockwellian, very simple and plain and perfect for the era the story is set in.

- AnnaLovesBooks
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Format: Library Binding
This is obviously not a major issue wth kid-lit but the period details in these meticulously rendered illustrations are way off, and I mean insanely way off, off to the point where this book is a misrepresentation of history. For the money spent on the illustrations, the publisher could have sponsored just a little research: Mary wears basically modern attire, and other characters are shown in costumes ranging from the early-19th to the mid-20th century. These images are vividly depicted, and constitute a major part of the book. It would have been preferable if the story was given a modern setting, or even had Mary traveling back in time. This kind of distortion is bad enough in adult literature, but is a positive disservice to children.
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By Jane C on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A beautiful book and quick service. Thanks much! I would recommend this to friends.
I am sure they would enjoy it.
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