Having read Paddy Donnelly’s book “Fox and Son Tailers” and loving it, the Junior room in Castleplunkett NS jumped at the opportunity to read and review “The Golden Hare” for Seomra Ranga, and we were not disappointed!

Meara and her Granddad head out on a quest in pursuit of The Golden Hare. On their journey they encounter a wide range of natural beauty and make discoveries of all shapes and sizes on their way. Granddad gently passes his knowledge and wisdom to Meara about the natural world as they explore together.

This beautiful story is so many things. A representation of the natural beauty of the outdoors, a highlights tour of our Irish nature and flora and fauna and an appreciation of the wisdom and importance of our heritage and the role of the grandparents in passing on the same.

The love between grandparent and grandchild beams out of this story, while the curiosity of any nature enthusiast, young or old, would be piqued in the reading of the story, studying the illustrations and discovering the additional facts section at the end.

“The Golden Hare” is wonderfully illustrated and the detail of each page is thoughtfully put together to encourage curiosity and interest.

The possibilities for curricular integration across the SESE subjects are endless. The opportunity to initiate lessons and jump start conversation on Irish birds, environmental conservation, habitats, bees, butterflies, spring, working as an explorer, not to mention a study of the hare, using this book are many. There are lots of language learning moments throughout and plenty of artistic inspiration.

“The Golden Hare” is a treasure of a book and book lovers and readers of any age would be thrilled to add this to their collection. This would be a lovely gift, a beautiful read aloud for younger primary school children and an ideal text for independent readers in the 7 to 10 year old category.

We remain firm fans of Paddy Donnelly’s books and would happily go on another exploration with this duo! Thank you to Seomra Ranga for allowing us to review this story.

Some quotes from the Junior Room pupils:

‘The ending was so nice. I liked finding out that the golden hare was real. The author made up nice bits but the facts were interesting too.’

‘All the illustrations were really nice.’

‘Granddad had a really interesting life!’

‘It was nice seeing Meara and her Granddad spending time with each other’

‘I like rabbits so I found the hare interesting’

‘I love nature and the back of the book was really interesting!’

By Katrina Grogan and the pupils of the Junior Room, Castleplunkett NS, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon.

The Golden Hare” by Paddy Donnelly, published by O’ Brien Press, is on sale now for €14.99 (H/B).

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’ Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review.