Books From the Striped House

St. Patrick’s day may mean heavy boozing for many of us, but it is also a day for us Irish-blooded folk to appreciate and understand our heritage through other means than drinking green beer and being drunken and jolly. If you’re a teacher or a parent, perhaps you could teach your students or children a little bit about Ireland through a children’s book before you go out and celebrate. Here’s a good one that may spark a little interest for anyone:

Have you heard of the children’s travel series “This is…” by the world famous author, Sasek? Well, if you haven’t, you ought to. This is Ireland is an educational children’s book that uses all the tools to give a comprehensive, general understanding of Ireland to both children and adults, Japanese and foreigners. The visual imagery is so brilliant (and green) that many of the pages could be individually framed and hung in a museum; the wording is not too over-bearing for a child and yet, very informative (how many of you knew that the island of Ireland has 32 counties with six belonging to the UK or that legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity or that there were two great famines in 1739 and 1848?) Sasek was a true master at conveying a country’s essence by filtering the complexities of a whole country into a simple, understandable and delightful children’s book. Nothing underscores this more than the fact that his books remain popular more than 40 years after initial publication.

So give this book a shot (no pun intended) and celebrate the pride of the Irish through a children’s book. You might learn a thing or two about what you’re drinking for, instead of just having an excuse to booze it up this St. Patrick’s Day. And to finish it off, something that has always confused me: do you know the difference between a shamrock and a clover? Because I don’t! Happy Reading!

This is Ireland: A Children’s Classic

Brought to you by Tokyo Random Walk (Roppongi)