“A good addition to St. Patrick’s Day children’s books with golden lessons about learning from failure.”
Claire is an appropriately red-headed young girl determined to catch a leprechaun, and she’s crafty and creative enough that she just might pull it off. Her brother, Sam, doesn’t believe in leprechauns—“Leprechauns? Baloney!”—but she still enlists his help, and together they retreat to her “Leprechaun Trap Laboratory” where they begin scheming leprechaun traps. Even though Claire’s first two attempts end unsuccessfully, and Leprechaun Finn lets her know her attempts are futile, “Try and try, but / I’ll be gone. / You can’t catch me— / I’m a leprechaun,” she hits on an ingenious idea to confuse the boastful little man. Readers will admire Claire’s optimism and positive reaction to failure—rather than feel discouraged or defeated by her first two attempts when she is outwitted by Finn, she learns from the experience, discovering what she needs to try differently next time. Even the title Three Ways to Catch a Leprechaun calls to mind Thomas Edison’s (apocryphal) quote stating that he hadn’t failed but instead found thousands of ways that wouldn’t work. Claire’s Rube Goldberg machine is a fun inclusion and sure to delight young engineering minds learning about causes, effects, and processes. To’s illustrations are bright and playful, and readers will enjoy searching them for Finn throughout the pages, as well as a surprise visitor peeking in at Claire and Sam on the last page. This is a worthwhile addition to St. Patrick’s Day and leprechaun-related children’s literature.
Three Ways to Trap a Leprechaun, inspired by the leprechaun trap phenomenon made popular in elementary school classrooms, includes tips on how to trap your very own leprechaun—just be sure to let him go!
Maker-girl Claire is determined to catch a leprechaun to prove that these magical, mischievous, miniature marvels are real.
This picture book romp puts Claire head-to-head with her rival, Finn the Leprechaun, with hilarious results. Will this leprechaun be caught once for all, or will he give her the slip?
Claire approaches her goal of catching a leprechaun with confidence and creativity. Even when her first attempts are not successful, she stays positive and continues trying. What can you learn from her example?
The book includes instructions at the end for creating a leprechaun trap using regular household items. Your young reader may enjoy doing like Claire and building a leprechaun trap around St. Patrick’s Day.
Tara Lazar writes quirky, humorous picture books, often featuring magical places that everyone will want to visit! Her most recent book 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story was honored with the 2018 Irma S. & James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature from Bank Street College of Education. Her other titles include The Monstore (2013), I Thought This Was a Bear Book (2015), Little Red Gliding Hood (2015), Normal Norman (2016), and Way Past Bedtime (2017). She’s a co-chair of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature conference and a former picture book mentor for We Need Diverse Books. Tara lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and a skateboarding hamster named Ace.
Vivienne To is an illustrator and visual development artist working in film and publishing. She has designed characters and creatures for both animated and live action feature films, including The Lego Movie, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, and Walking With Dinosaurs. Her first picture book The Sloth Who Came To Stay, with author Margaret Wild, was published by Allen & Unwin in July 2017. She lives in Wellington, New Zealand. When she isn’t drawing, she can be found knitting on the couch, watching cute dogs at the local park or reading in the children’s section of the library and trying to blend in.