Fiona's Luck Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-03-07 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 36 user ratings

"This is a wonderful story that can be read at St. Patrick's day or any day. It teaches about how you need to use your wits to sometimes make things better. It also can be used to introduce the potato famine in Ireland to younger children, since it is mentioned that the country was unable to grow potatoes from the lack of luck.
The illustrations were excellent, though due to the font size and color it sometimes made reading the words tricky. As the background coloring was distracting which took away from the words.
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"Just how lucky are the Irish? On the heels of the potato famine this story brings together leprechauns, humans, and the leprechaun King. The King of the leprechauns gets angry at the humans for using up all of the luck. So he decides to take it all away. Hard times for the Irish people ensue. It is up to Fiona to outsmart the King and get the Irish luck back for Ireland.

This story has a very folk story feel to it. I also think it may be a bit confusing to young readers. Perhaps intermediate aged children will get more out of it than the primary aged group it was made for.
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"I snagged this up from the library display for Irish stories in celebration for St. Patrick's Day and found myself a bit tongue tied on the first page but as the story progressed, found myself wondering how it would turn out. The ending was not what I'd expected but was well enough in the same direction. I like that she used a bit of history in the story that could lead to further discussion after the story.

My three kids were not as happy with this story as Teresa's Ring of Truth, but I'd still recommend it as a good bedtime story, or even one that a teacher could share in a classroom so that the history hinted at in the story could be divulged upon.
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"The illustrations were created from acrylic, watercolor, & a gel medium on coventry rag. The colors are beautiful at the beginning--washes of gold, nighttime-out-in-the-moonlight blue, and emerald green. This is a really cute tale about a townsgirl named Fiona who discovers a way to cleverly trick the leprechaun king into granting her a wish. There were only a few places in the text when the authors described things such as the "fine golden thread" of the nets used to catch the luck floating in the air and the leprechaun king's cavern floor "cobbled entirely of jewels" that I wished were more aptly portrayed in the illustrations. Overall, a very enjoyable story." said.

"I've got to hand it to Bateman and Murphy; I never thought I'd come out of a book about the Irish potato famine feeling inspired. But that's exactly what happened when I finished Fiona's Luck. As soon as I closed the book, I flipped it over to smile at the plucky heroine on the cover.

Reading a bit like the Irish equivalent of Rudyard Kipling's Just So Stories, this book provides a (fictional) explanation for the devastating famine that gripped mid-nineteenth century Ireland, while also offering a lesson in how intelligence and determination can help overcome even the worst situations. Considering that Ireland often is portrayed negatively in popular culture, I'm delighted to have a good book to recommend. I'm almost looking forward to next St. Patrick's Day...
" said.

"Bateman, Teresa. (2007). Fiona's Luck. United States: Charlesbridge Publishing.

Fiona lives in a land where luck is plentiful. The leprechaun king decides one day that the humans are using too much of the luck. He decides to gather all of the luck in the land to keep it safe so it doesn't run out. This turns the land and the people desolate and desperate. Fiona though, seems to still have fine luck. Her cow still gives her milk, her chickens still give her eggs, and she has plenty of potatoes. Or so it seems.
This Tumblebook was fun and mysterious. There are different voices for the characters and the narrator throughout the story, which makes the book come alive. The illustrations, which are colored with rustic tones, also make small movements to emphasize what the characters are doing.
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"I remember when Fiona's Luck first came out. One of my fellow librarians and I literally squealed with delight when we saw it. We said, "St. Patrick's Day. Reader's Theatre." And that is exactly what we did. Once a month, she and I did Reader's Theatre with library books at a local bookstore. This was one of the featured books.

Fiona's Luck is a delightful story with a clever twist. I didn't know how Fiona would resolve her problem until she actually resolved it. Not many people can match wits with a Leprechaun King, but Fiona manages admirably.

As wonderful as the story is, the reason we two librarians squealed with delight was the charming artwork. Kelly Murphy (good Irish name!) creates an Ireland that is both realistic and enchanting. Even in the heartbreaking barrenness of the first few pages, magic lurks in the corners. Her use of color and lighting effects for setting mood is masterful.
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"A fictional tale of a young Irish girl and how she logically tricks leprechauns into releasing luck back into the world, this story is one that would be accessible to younger readers about the theme of Ireland and the Irish Potato Famine. In the story, the reason that the potato crops are failing is because the leprechaun king has stolen all the luck from the world. In order to draw the attention of the leprechaun king, the girl, Fiona, makes it look like she is lucky when everyone else is not. She fills her milk bucket with whitewash, her egg basket with pinecones, and her wheelbarrow with dirty rocks, but by all appearances, all her neighbors think she has luck even in the midst of the famine. The leprechaun king then brings her to his throne (by magic of course) and she eventually out-wits him in order to get the luck back into the world. For this text-set a book like this is an important way for younger readers to enter the invitation and to be a part of learning about the famine in a way that will stick for them. " said.

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