Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: 'The Last Snake in Ireland' by Sheila MacGill-Callahan

✰✰✰½ Soon-to-be saint Patrick had a problem on his hands. The snakes of Ireland were out of control and bothering everyone. So Patrick used his magic bell to summon all the snakes, and he sent them away to far off lands. Unfortunately, the oldest, most clever snake refused to go. The snake was everywhere Patrick went. Soon it was very clear, the snake must go. But how? Patrick comes up with a surprise plan to best the sneaky serpent. However, don't count the snake out too quickly. It seems the snake has a surprise for Patrick as well.

The Bottom Line: Author Sheila MacGill-Callahan cleverly weaves together two legends (see the Author's Note at the end of the book) to tell an old tale with surprise ending. Will Hillenbrand's colorful, mixed media illustrations in pastels, watercolors, and egg tempura will delight both children and adults alike. Recommended for story time for kids in grade school.

Details: The Last Snake in Ireland: A Story about St. Patrick written by Sheila MacGill-Callahan & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. Hardcover picture book published by Holiday House in 1999. 32 p. ISBN: 0-8234-1425-6

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