That’s What Leprechauns Do

“Bunting (The Wall) adds a bit o’ blarney to a favorite Irish legend as she imagines three leprechauns on a mission to place a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. As storm clouds begin to roll in, Ari the leprechaun rouses his two colleagues, Boo and Col, for the latest gold job. “It’s a leprechaun’s duty, so it is,” Ari notes of the somewhat wearisome task; “not a single soul ever finds it,” Col laments. But on the road to Paddywhackers Bog, where the gold remains hidden on non-rainbow days, the three leprechauns also make mischief (“That’s what leprechauns do… Along with our more important duties,” says Ari in a kind of refrain). Painting the hooves of Mrs. Ballybunion’s cow red and tying Old Jamie Bradley’s drying long johns in a knot keep the trio more than amused. By tale’s end—and rainbow’s end—they’re ready to do it all again. Bunting offers a kicky if slight outing here, bringing a dash of modern silliness to her twist on familiar lore. McCully (Mirette on the High Wire ) portrays the leprechauns as a craggy-yet-cute blend of dapper and disheveled fellows, donning red buckle shoes, bright green tail coats and blue-and-white striped stockings, all of which accent their smiling eyes. Scenes of the little heroes rolling in the grass or doing a jig in the bog will put a touch o’ spring in readers’ steps.”

-Publishers Weekly

“The skies over the Irish countryside are clouding up: A rainbow is on the way. Leprechauns Ari, Boo and Col have a job to do. Despite the fact that no one ever finds their pot of gold, they must hide it at the end of the rainbow when it appears, because that’s what leprechauns do. As they scurry down the country road, Ari, Boo and Col try to resist the temptation to do mischief (something everyone knows leprechauns do too). They just can’t pass Mrs. Ballybunion’s cow without painting her hooves red. They can’t pass a stray tennis ball that, if found under a chicken, would confound Miss Maude Murphy. They complete their appointed task, and make it back in time to have a laugh at Miss Murphy’s expense. This nice … addition to St. Patrick’s Day literature is a good introduction to the holiday’s wee fairy symbols. Caldecott-winner McCully’s sprightly watercolors bring prolific Bunting’s … story to life.