With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I’ve seen a few book recommendation lists that include Fiona’s Luck, which is written by Teresa Bateman and illustrated by Kelly Murphy.
I love seeing this book recommended at any time of year, however, because it is simply one of my very favorite picture books.
Both of my children love it, but of course it is my eldest, Fiona, who gets especially excited about it. My girls love to find their names in books or movies, as most children do, and that was what attracted me to Fiona’s Luck in the first place.
And I am so happy I decided to buy it.
Not only does it give me a chance to have fun playing around with my horrible Irish accent (which is possibly more entertaining to me than my kids), but it delivers a wonderful lesson in the form of a fun and engaging story.
Fiona is a young woman in Ireland, living in a time after the Leprechaun King has stolen all the luck that used to be floating freely around the country, and locked it away in a big wooden chest. He was upset that all of the luck floating around out there was getting attached to the Big Folk, and so he decided to keep it all for himself.
But he took ALL of the luck, every bit of it, and with no luck left floating around Ireland, a famine developed. The cows wouldn’t let down milk, the hens weren’t laying eggs, and the potatoes rotted in the ground.
Fiona uses her wits to trick everyone into thinking that she is in fact very lucky by pretending to harvest potatoes and be overloaded with baskets of eggs and buckets of milk.
Her ruse works, and the Leprechaun King magically transports her to his throne room to demand that she return the luck. Since she knows she is not lucky, she uses that to her advantage when he challenges her to tests of luck. And though she fails all of his tests, she wins something much greater: a little bit of the luck that he had locked away. And as it turns out, a little bit is enough.
Amidst this tale of a woman who would rather have her “wits about her” than all the luck in the world, are gorgeously painted illustrations. While reading the story, there is so much for kids to look at, and so many beautiful details for their eyes to peruse (like tiny sparkles of luck or hidden leprechauns).
The mood of the story comes alive against the soft natural colors, with the gloomier parts reflected by more subdued shades, and the lighter moments highlighted by the playful twinkling of the luck. The friendly faces set against the sprawling Irish countryside makes for gorgeous viewing for adults and kids alike.
I highly recommend this book. You won’t regret sharing the brave and spirited Fiona with your own amazing kids!