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Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland Paperback – February, 1994


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the prolific dePaola's heartfelt celebrations of religious themes will welcome this handsome picture-book biography. His signature style is well showcased here and, as he did in The Lady of Guadalupe , dePaola effectively integrates both the tones and design elements of (in this case) Celtic art into his renderings. As with his pictorial biography Francis: The Poor Man of Assisi , dePaola succeeds in placing a near-mythic religious figure within a historic context and successfully relates the familiar and not-so-familiar details of his life: Patrick was of British (although when it was a part of the Holy Roman Empire), not Celtic, ancestry; March 17 is the date of his death, not of his birth. Readers will particularly enjoy the addition of five legends about St. Patrick, including the snakes and the shamrock. This well-designed entry has perennial appeal. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 4-- For answering requests for information about St. Patrick, this is the ideal book to replace a page in the encyclopedia or a pictureless chapter in a musty old book of saints. The story opens with his kidnapping as a boy and youth as a slave in Ireland, and recounts his escape to his family in Britain, the inspiring vision that led him to return as Ireland's first bishop, and the spread of Christianity on the Emerald Isle under his leadership. dePaola's palette is dominated by earth and moss tones, and works to convey a distinctly Celtic flavor. An arresting use of space runs the gamut from double-page spreads to half-page illustrations. This constantly shifting balance of art and text adds action to the tale. The book concludes with a collection of one-page vignettes describing a few colorful legends about St. Patrick. This approach may give some readers pause as they try to distinguish between these legends and certain events in the body of the story that could also be considered legendary. Then again, this setup could be no more incongruous than the role that Patrick himself has come to play--that of folk hero and saint. This admirable picture-book offering will fill a gap in most collections. --Lisa S. Murphy, Dauphin County Library System, Harrisburg, PA
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 700L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (P) (February 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823410773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823410774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.
He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his ""singular attainment in children's literature,"" the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his ""continued distinguished contribution,"" and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.
Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.
- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.
Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition for his books in the children's book world, including:
- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

"

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By X. Libris on October 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have always enjoyed the picture books of Tomie dePaola. His unique illustration style is immediately recognizable and is reminiscent of religious icons found in Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Not surprisingly, dePaola often tackles Christian themes, making them accessible for younger readers and their parents. Among my all-time favorite children's book is his "The Clown of God," which I have enjoyed reading to children prior to Christmas.

"Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland" is another such book. The simple narrative mainly addresses Patrick's early years as a British boy, captured by the Irish to become a slave shepherd in Ireland. After many years alone in prayer, he escapes, but eventually is called in a dream to return to Ireland to spread the love of God. After religious studies, becoming a missionary and then a bishop, he finally returns to Ireland, setting up churches, but not without opposition from some of the local rulers.

What I appreciate about this version of St. Patrick's story is the dependency on historical fact in the main narrative. The book concludes with six one-page summaries of the better-known legends of Ireland's patron saint, such as driving out the snakes, and his use of the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Refreshingly, these legends are briefly, but affectionately, told without judgment. It is left to the reader (or the parent) to decide what to make of them.

The author concludes with a one-page epilogue, lovingly explaining how he was introduced as a young child to St. Patrick by his Irish Catholic grandparents.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Tomie dePaola's Patrick, patron-saint of Ireland is a joy to read and see. The story is clear and simple, the drawings strong and cheerfull. Not many historians mention the Irish hounds on the the ship to France. Tomie dePaola does, with knowledge and artfull humor.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "pcritchley" on January 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Growing up in an Irish Catholic family myself, I had heard a great deal about St. Patrick. When we received this book as a gift I started reading it to my children, and they loved it. There were stories even I hadn't heard about St. Pat! As with his St. Francis book, Tomie DePaola's book holds children's interest throughout the many stories while other books of this length lose children. Kids remember the stories and repeat them because they are told so lovingly and in such a fun way! I now bring this book to their school and read it to all their classrooms every St. Patrick's Day to let children know that there is more to Patrick than green beer!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Hendey VINE VOICE on October 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
A wonderful book by Tomie dePaola filled with helpful information about the true story of St. Patrick's life, as well as fun legends attributed to the patron Saint of Ireland. dePaola's bold illustrations lend to the attraction of the book. He mentions at the end of the book his reasons for writing it and his attraction to Saint Patrick. My own eight year old son has a strong devotion to Saint Patrick and this book is among his favorites. I appreciate the clear differentiation between fact and legend in this book and would highly recommend it for any family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By joule on April 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful drawings and engaging narration for 2-3rd graders. Many historic accounts of St. Patrick along with some
more traditional/local myths/stories. Nice to have an engaging book about St. Patrick that doesn't involve
leprachauns, pots of gold and beer. Only reason for the 4 stars instead of 5 is because this book is a paperback instead
of hardbound : If the kids have free access to it they will destroy it. Since the book is out of print I was very lucky
to be able to find a used copy which was in very good shape.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. M. Behrens on March 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Four instead of five stars for length of book when reading to children. It may contain too many life details of St. Patrick for very young children. I learned a few legends I had never heard before and the context of St. Patrick's life emphasizes that great service for God takes dedication over time.
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By dbb on March 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Print enlarges and color is very good on the Kindle Fire.
At age 65 I love good kids and this is one of them.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We really enjoyed reading this story on St. Patrick's day. It was helpful to explain our heritage to our three little boys. Kept their interest. The illustrations are a nod to stained glass windows which was appropriate to the story and era.
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