It's St. Patrick's Day this weekend, but do you know who St. Patrick was and how the traditions of the holiday started?
My favorite way to celebrate the holiday is to read Irish folktales. Brave Margaret is one of my favorites. It takes the damsel in distress theme so common in folktales and turns it on its head. Not content to wait at home, Margaret fights a monster to save her love. Another great way to celebrate the holiday is to listen to some Irish music like the traditional music below.
Ireland has a rich history, dating back to ancient times. This can be seen in the hauntingly preserved bog bodies that can be found in its peat bogs. Eve Bunting's new picture book, The Ballywhinney Girl, tells the story of a little girl and her grandfather who find a bog body in their own backyard.
Siobhan Dowd explores similar themes in Bog Child for a teenage audience. This book, set during The Troubles, tells the story of a boy who discovers a body in a peat bog and an archaeologist who comes to investigate it. It looks at Irish history from multiple perspectives to create an engaging story.
For those who want to learn more about bog bodies and other types of mummies, we have several nonfiction books on the subject. You can also find a lot of information online. National Geographic has an article on two bog bodies found in Ireland in 2003. Archaeology.org has many articles on bog bodies for those interested including one on the poetry to be found in them. It highlights the poems of Seamus Heaney, an Irish Nobel Laureate who has written poems on the subject including "The Tollund Man," "Bogland," and "The Grauballe Man."