Indoctrinating your grandchild
I sit with Ollie on the couch in the family room and hand him a present from a dear friend at school. He takes off the paper one small piece at a time, very carefully He is not a rip it off fast kind of toddler. Then he gurgles with delight, points to the cat, and says “cat” very proudly, one of his new words. He looks up at me for approval, smiling over his accomplishment and waiting for the expected and forthcoming surge of delight his every new gesture and word evokes from Grammie.
Ollie learning about leprechauns from Grammie, Irish culture indoctrination 101
But we are just getting acquainted with the book. The cute cat, who he already knows, is a great hook to pull him in, but that is not really what the book is about. Pete the Cat, The Great Leprechaun Chase is going to be Ollie’s first memorable Leprechaun story. Just shy of his second birthday, Ollie becomes intrigued with the Lehleh (his word for it). I have read him books before with leprechauns and other Irish imagery but he never go into the story and made the connections. This time was different. The reading level was just right for a 2 year old and the pictures were bright and inviting. Some of the pages even open out into giant fold outs This book is now Ollie’s Irish culture 101. Page one is a giant fold out poster of the cat and the leprechaun. I may have to tear that out and laminate it for his bedroom upstairs, when they visit.
Ollie’s eyes are glued to the big poster. A lehleh stands with his pot of gold on the other end of a rainbow and the cat’s eyes are big as he contemplates how to catch the lehleh. In the end Pete the Cat, after catching the leprechaun, lets him go, and the books says “Pete decides he will be the good luck his friends need by helping them out himself. “ So it even ends with a positive message (sorry should have given you a spoiler alert) and the illustrations explode with color. Ollie loves the book He keeps pointing the cat and the lehleh and giggling.
Grammie is loving this,my grandbaby in all his sweetness cuddled up with me, hearing him giggle and seeing him wiggle, and knowing that he is absorbing a new character, the lehleh…..This is the beginning of a long journey of Irish folklore, I hope to share with him over the years. I hear Irish music playing. I see him dancing. I sit back while my Irish angel, sent to this earth to bless us all, makes friends with the lehleh.