By: Joyce A. Stengel
Illustrated by: Herb Leonhard
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company
Publication Date: January 2009
Reviewed By: Holly Connors
Review Date: February 11, 2010
A long time ago, snakes inhabited the island of Ireland. That is until St. Patrick came along and drove all the slithering creatures into the ocean by ringing a bell. St. Patrick thought all the snakes were gone, but one sneaky snake escaped.
One night while St. Patrick slept serenely under a tree, three little mice, Tulla, Ryan and Brian, cuddled in their nearby nest. Ryan and Brian were fast asleep but Tulla was restive and wandered away from the cozy nest to find St. Patrick, loudly snoring. Next to the man was the glowing bell that he had used to chase the snakes away. As Tulla watched, the last snake in Ireland snuck up to St. Patrick and stole the bell. The snake knew that without the bell, there was no way for St. Patrick to chase the snake off the island.
What could Tulla do? She had to find a way to get the bell back to St. Patrick. Waking up her two friends, they soon devised a way to retrieve the bell. Would they be able to get the bell without waking up the snake? Or would they be the snake’s next meal?
St. Patrick and the Three Brave Mice is a sweet story that introduces children to the legend of St. Patrick and the snakes of Ireland. There's even an author's note at the end that provides further information on St. Patrick. The drawings are beautiful, with plenty of detail in each picture. The mice look cute enough to hug, with extremely expressive faces. The snake, too, is quite detailed and realistic looking; he might be a bit scary to younger or more impressionable children. However, for children who love a good action story, with plenty of suspense (Will the mice get the bell? Will they escape the snake?), there’s plenty in this book to keep them cheering.
Quill says: An engaging story that introduces children to the legend of St. Patrick.