March 2019 Book of the Month

Book Guru, Grandma Judy

Hello, friends! Is it almost spring? Can’t tell from the temperature outside, right? But I visited a friend last week, and her crocus are pushing through the chilly soil. It is heartwarming to see, after such a very cold winter here in Utah. Brrrr.
St. Patrick’s Day makes me think of the fun I had reading books to kids this time of year. I have a son-in-law who spent a couple of years in Scotland, and has that “brogue” down pat. I love to listen to him when he slips into that “language.” Hey! Maybe we all could learn a foreign language! We could learn to speak Scottish, Irish, Australian, and Vampire. Vat do YOU think about dat?
Anyway, I have a book called The Last Snake in Ireland; A Story About St. Patrick by Sheila MacGill-Callahan. This is a good blend of fun, fiction and myth, with lots of colorful and humorous illustrations, and holds a great opportunity for you to use your Irish sounding words, if you are reading it aloud.

You know how it goes. Patrick, before he was made a Saint, had tried so hard to make the over population of snakes dwelling happily in Ireland, to behave. No “luck!” (No pun intended. Okay, it was intended). But Patrick had an old and lame dog named Finbar, and when he found the snakes taunting the poor dear, he got angry. He had a magic bell with a snake call on it, and he rang it until all the snakes gathered, and then he led them to the sea, where they crawled down in to get away from the sound (Remind you of another story)? Patrick was very happy to see them go, until he heard a hissing sound. Looking around he found a very big, very red, and very sneaky snake wrapped around a large bush.

Patrick asks him why he didn’t leave with the others, and he tells him he just didn’t want to! He slithers off, but in the days to come, he taunts and bothers every day of Patrick’s existence!  Finally Patrick becomes fed up, and builds a beautiful and large box. As the chilly weather of Autumn comes, Patrick places the box, with the lid open, where the snake will find it. Of course the snake is suspicious, but also very curious, and eventually crawls in. Patrick moves “like lightening” to snap the lid down, but the shake escapes to the hills. Patrick rushes after, carrying the box, and they race through the land, over mountains, and eventually to the sea. Patrick closes in on the snake, but an eagle swoops down and snatches the snake up and carries him away. Patrick jumps into a coracle and paddles after, with his box in tow. When the eagle takes the snake to his nest, for his little eaglets to eat, Patrick jumps up and grabs the eagle, and lifts him over his head. The eagle lets go of the snake, and the snake drops into the box below. The lid snapped shut, and when Patrick falls into the little boat, it overturns, and the box spills overboard.

Just what Patrick wanted! The snake is screaming to be let out, and Patrick tells him he will let him out later, much later. Patrick begins to worry about how the snake was doing, he makes his way to the water and shouts that he has returned. Oh! The last page is breathtaking to the listener/reader as out of the water comes, you guessed it, the monster of fame. And he is very intimidating, He tells Patrick that from the time he hit the water, he started to grow and never stopped. Grinning, he tells Patrick,”I like it here. They call me the Loch Ness Monster.” Good fun in this little book. I call it a great read for this time of year.

Have fun! Wear green! Read to those grand-babies. Buy them books and glue your picture somewhere inside them! That would be so fun. Love to all!

#GoodGrandma #GivingGrandmasGoodIdeas #LochNess #StPatricksDay #WearGreen #BookGuru #GrandmaJudy #TheLastSnakeInIreland #SheilaMacGillCallahan

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