PADDY'S POT OF GOLD by Dick King-Smith
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 11
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When Brigid espies a leprechaun, it's due to a lucky combination of circumstances: she's an only child celebrating her eighth birthday--and she also has a hole in her boot. She and Paddy are soon close friends. He serves as interpreter for the farm animals (e.g., the rabbit wants Brigid to put something over his cage at night to keep foxes from staring at him); she delights in seeing his "landlords," a family of badgers in the nearby wood, and brings him his heart's desire at Christmas, a tiny bottle of whiskey. Like the shoemaker's elves, Paddy is gone soon after receiving this gift, in this case because old age catches up with him: born in 1815, his span is complete, and in a touching wintry scene, an old badger shows Brigid his grave. But he has left a gift: following his riddled instructions, Brigid finds a real chest of gold in her own yard. It's the perfectly crafted details that give this simple story its charm: the "lep's" domestic arrangements, his engaging mix of magic and vulnerability, the small dramas involving the farm animals, the amiable dialogue, the unique friendship. Parkins's crosshatched pen drawings are also unusually felicitous, depicting Paddy as similar to a cheery little Danish troll and quietly evoking the Irish setting. Warm, imaginative, and (again) grounded in the author's good sense and real knowledge of field and farm. (Fiction. 6-11)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1992
ISBN: 014034215X
Page count: 114pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1992


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