THE LAST SNAKE IN IRELAND by Sheila MacGill-Callahan


A Story About St. Patrick
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review


The author combines two heretofore unrelated legends for an enjoyable, action-filled tale. The story of the origins of the Loch Ness Monster is combined with the story of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland. Snakes bedevil the Irish in some gently humorous serpentine appearances--one in an outhouse. They wrap themselves around St. Patrick’s old lame dog, and he finds a way to banish them--save one. As the enormous red snake matches wits with St. Patrick, readers are compelled by what will happen next. In the midst of the battle, the snake is carried off by an eagle; St. Patrick wants to win, “but not this way.” He succeeds in dropping the snake, crated-up, into the body of water they have traveled to: Loch Ness. “There’s good magic for snakes” there, and the serpent grows to the legendary size he is today. The joke is better if readers already know that legend, but it’s an entertaining story with fun and drama in the unusual paintings. Done with a variety of media, they achieve unique textures and warmth, and the artist’s sense of humor is a perfect complement to the story. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 15th, 1999
ISBN: 0-8234-1425-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999