Travel Book Review: Tales from Old Ireland

Saint Patrick's day is just around the corner, and the grocery stores are fully stocked with Corned Beef, Cabbage, and Guinness Beer. We're making an effort to learn a little more about Irish culture this year with the kids, and one great way to do that is by reading traditional stories.

Tales from Old Ireland
Tales from Old Ireland

Tales from Old Ireland has seven traditional stories, beautifully illustrated in one volume. Each of the stories is also read aloud on a CD that you can listen to at home or (as we do) in the car. The stories are fairly long, and though the book is illustrated, it's print-heavy making it best suited for kids who are already listening to or reading chapter books.

Though they're told in pragmatic language, the stories themselves have a mystical quality that most modern stories do not. Witches can turn you into a goose or banish you from the kingdom if it suits their needs. A cloak of darkness can give a domestic servant magical powers. All the scary elements of a traditional tale are here, and yet somehow my kids were fascinated with them though most movies make them cover their eyes in fear at some point. Still, I'd say these stories are too intense for most kids under age 4, and parents might want to wait until age 5 or 6 before introducing them.

Reader Question: Do you have any favorite Irish story books?

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Buy on Amazon: Tales from Old Ireland

Tales from Old Ireland was given to me by the publisher, Barefoot Books to review. Because the total value of the books given to me for review exceeded $40 I have donated them to my childrens' school library. If you buy the book using the Amazon link at the end of the post, I earn a small commission, and that income helps me keep the site going.

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  1. Gev on March 14, 2012 at 6:50 a.m.

    My Mother-in-law is a teacher, she loves reading and her father was Irish, I think this may be a great mother's day present! Godd stuff

  2. Sara on March 14, 2012 at 3:12 p.m.

    My favorite Irish tale is also considered welsh or Cornish or from Brittany, but since it typically includes an Irish princess, I like to attribute it to my ethic homeland. Heard of Tristan and Isolde? not the Hollywood version, but the one with potions, spies, spells, trickery and hidden cottages in the wood? Love it! Just needs a fairy.

  3. books 4 learning on March 14, 2012 at 7:28 p.m.

    Perfect book for this time of year. I am checking it out at my public library. Thanks.

  4. tietje on March 15, 2012 at 2:09 a.m.

    It's very cool. I'll check it on amazon

  5. Mary on March 15, 2012 at 7:15 a.m.

    Aaa, good Idea to search that book in amazon :))

  6. Vicky on March 16, 2012 at 1:45 a.m.

    My grandma used to read bedtime stories for me, and i know the importance of old folk stories. I'll surely check this book on amazon. Thanks.

  7. APB News on March 18, 2012 at 8:16 p.m.

    If you have an Irish festival in your area, you should really go some time. I've been doing that since I was a wee one. Great way to get in touch with the culture through music and storytelling. Of course, since half the people in my family have red hair we got all kinds of free stuff:)