Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill (a Review)

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Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill Book Review

With St. Patrick’s day right around the corner, I decided to share and review one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day themed books: Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill, written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. This storybook brings to life an Irish tale that has been handed down from generation to generation about the popular Irish giant, Fin M’Coul.

I found the book in my local library’s juvenile book section under JB dePaola. Our family has made a tradition out of reading this witty story every March.

Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill Book Review

In this story we are introduced to Ireland’s loveable giant Fin M’Coul who outwits a larger giant with the help of his wife Oonagh. As Fin takes us along on his tale we are whisked away to some of the most well-known geographical landmarks of Ireland.

Having Irish in our family heritage, both my husband and I feel that it is important to learn about our ancestors and this storybook is a wonderful way to guide children into the magical world of Irish tales.

I would place this book at about a second to third grade level, which is perfect for Elizabeth. However, it is my belief that this storybook could be used at a higher grade level when being used in a literature lesson because it is chalk full of wonderfully written, witty writing.

Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill Book Review
Some of the positive aspects of this book are:

  • Tomie dePaola, in his typical engaging writing style, ropes young (and old) readers immediately into the story. You will find yourself smiling with laughing and loveable “small” giant Fin as his wife helps him learn to trick his larger giant rival. This story proves that the “small guy” can win and I think any child who reads this story will walk away smiling and empowered that doing the right thing always pays off in the end.
  • This is a well-rounded complex story for lower elementary children and would tie in beautifully either with St. Patrick’s Day, studies on Ireland, or units on tales and folklore.
  • This story lends itself to so many complex character lessons that any teacher could have a wealth of ideas and lessons pop into their head like comparing and contrasting characters and how each character grew and changed throughout the story.

Even though I love this book and would recommend it to anyone, especially any fans of Tomie dePaola, there is a minor thing that detracts from this book and that is:

  • I do believe that the only way that this storybook went astray is that the author did not dive deeper in his writings to explain the geographical locations that were referenced and shown throughout the book. I find that asking your child questions such as ”Can you find the Giant’s Causeway on the globe?“ are helpful to expand on the storyline and geographical locations and that the author could have wrapped this element using his style of witty writing to make the storyline a little easier to follow for children who have not visited or learned about Ireland in their studies.

It is my opinion that if you are looking for some jolly good fun this St. Patrick’s Day with a pinch of wit and a dab of historical tale then Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill is the book that you have been looking for.

If you would like to get your own copy of this book you can find it on Amazon, in the Kindle store, or maybe even you can find a copy of this book at your local library in the Juvenile section. Our local library system only had one copy of this book in their system so we opted to utilize the online library feature where we can borrow a book from our library to read immediately on our Kindle.

Free printable Ireland lapbook from Enchanted Homeschooling Mom

Make sure to also check out my FREE Ireland Lapbook that I created to be used with several storybooks, including Fin M’Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill.

Clip art by: Revi Devi

About Jill @ Enchanted Homeschool Mom

Jill of Enchanted Homeschooling Mom is the homeschooling mother of 2 awesome children (Beck and Elizabeth), a loving wife, who brings readers along on her family’s homeschooling journey in their rural setting. She enjoys blogging about everything related to her homeschooling experience, from the daily happenings of Beck and Elizabeth, to the adventures in nature around them, to her family’s 4 rescue dogs, to just about anything that makes their homeschooling journey magical. Jill also takes the time to create printables for her homeschool classroom that she provides at her EHM Member’s Only Website. She has a wide variety of printables, curriculum, unit studies, and holiday related items that everyone is sure to find educational, useful, fun, and appropriate. You can follow with Jill’s magical homeschooling journey at, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest. Don't forget to also have some magical virtual book club fun each month with Poppins Book Nook!

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