Ivan Robertson hasn’t written many children’s books, but the few he’s written are doozies! He explores the underwater world of sharks and the workings of a harbor port where tall ships from all over the world arrive and let off their passengers. Robertson also takes a look at all the fun and whimsy of Ireland and its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
In Jack and the Leprechaun, Robertson weaves a delightful tale of Irish folklore and customs through its main character called Jack Mouse. Jack is visiting his cousin, Sean, over in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day and becomes immersed in all of the Irish customs. He eats the food and learns about the importance of the shamrock and the myth of the leprechaun. That’s where Sean explains to the title character the myths about the little people, which gives him an idea. He wants to catch one of these little guys himself! He finds Liam, one of the little people, and tries to get his pot of gold. Instead, he winds up with a pot full of cheese. For Jack Mouse, the cheese is better than gold!
Ivan Robertson writes about many of the things Ireland is most noted for in his story about Jack and the Leprechaun. With his simple, easy-to-follow text, Robertson tells his readers about the country’s oldest language called Gaelic, the club called a shillelagh, and the significance of the three-leaf clover. The words Robertson uses to tell his tale doesn’t overwhelm children with too many in-depth details. The details are reserved for the book’s illustrations, which are watercolor creations skillfully illustrated by Katy Bratun. They are cheerful and bright. You’ll spend a lot of time just enjoying the artwork.
Jack and the Leprechaun is 24-page book is suited best for children 3 to 7 years of age, but many parents find themselves spending more time looking at the illustrations and learning about all the traditions that make Ireland a fun place to live and visit. Despite some missteps by the author and illustrator, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read for the St. Patrick’s Day holiday or any other time of year!