By: Madeline Donaldson
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: January 2011
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 31, 2011
If you take a look at a map of Ireland you can see that “The Republic of Ireland takes up most of Ireland.” In the northern part of the country is Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. To the east of Ireland is the Irish Sea. The Atlantic Ocean “lies to the west, north, and south.” Inland you can see many rivers and loughs (lakes). In addition to these features, you can also see several mountain ranges that dot the coasts. In the center of the island farmers work “raising crops and grazing livestock” because the land is very fertile. The country has a mild climate, is also very green from rainfall, and as a result has been nicknamed the Emerald Isle.
The history of Ireland is long and some of the earliest settlers, who ruled “about seventeen hundred years ago,” were Celts. You’ll learn about many “raiders and invaders” who inhabited the island over the centuries. One of the most trying times for the Irish was when the potato crops failed in the 1840s. During the Great Hunger people starved and many left the country. Later people fought to escape the rule of the English and in 1921 Ireland became the Irish Free State. In this book you will also learn the ethnic background of the Irish, the language, what children study in school, when they attend school, where people live, what their crafts are, you’ll learn about their religion, their holidays, sports, foods, folklore, music, dance, culture, and you’ll learn many other interesting things about this fascinating country!
The layout of the book gives a nice visual impression with well chosen photographs, art reproductions, and a map. There are numerous informative sidebars, including one about Saint Patrick. The confident reader should be able to tackle this book with ease as each page has large print and no more than a paragraph. The only exceptions are the pages with the additional sidebar material. In the back of the book is an index, a glossary, information on the flag of Ireland, some “Fast Facts,” and additional recommended book and website resources to explore. The websites include additional information for teachers and homeschoolers.
Quill says: This is an excellent overview of Ireland for the young student.