One of my favorite St. Patrick stories to read to children is the lovely St. Patrick’s Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting. After hearing it for the first time a few years ago, it became a favorite of mine.
The story is about Jamie, the youngest in a family of boys, who wants to prove to his brothers he’s not too small to march in the yearly St. Patrick’s Day parade. Bunting’s descriptive language is ripe for discussion (and we do), but what I use this story for most is to talk about making personal connections to texts.
Here’s the connection I share after reading the story:
When I was little, just in kindergarten, I was also the baby in my family. My brother is older and all my cousins are older too. One day, my entire family was at my Aunt Amy’s house visiting. My brother and cousins were all playing a game and wouldn’t let me join in… they told me I was too small – just like Jamie in the book!
I remember feeling very sad and upset about being excluded. I was about to cry I was so sad and just then my Aunt tapped me on the shoulder and brought me into her kitchen. She lifted me up onto the counter and wiped my tears away.
Then she did something I’ll never, ever forget. She opened the freezer and took out a frozen Milky Way bar. It looked giant in my small hands. Now, I’d never had a frozen Milky Way bar before and I didn’t know what to expect.
“This is just for you… don’t tell the other kids,” she whispered.
I sat on the counter, eating the frozen sweetness and remember thinking, being small isn’t so bad after all.
With that, children always wants to know what happened… I’m not very small now.
I explained that eventually I grew tall like my brother (I’m actually taller than him now), but I’m still the ‘baby’ in my family – which always elicits giggles. They all shared some of their connections to the story and then it was time for lunch.
I really do love that book… for so many reasons.