Finny the goat is named for Finn MacCool, a warrior in Irish mythology who ate some magic salmon and grew wise. Thanks to some fairy magic that enables Finny to start talking, he and his owner, Seamus, head into the town of Killorglin to participate in the annual King Puck competition.
A puck is a wild male goat in Ireland and the Puck Festival is a very old tradition where a goat is crowned King. It is said to be in honor of the Paul Revere of goats, who warned the townspeople of an incoming English invasion.
The ending is suitable for librarians and teachers everywhere, as when, spoiler alert -- Finny wins and is crowned King Puck -- he and Seamus ask for their prize to be more books!!
This is a great read-aloud if you can find someone with an Irish accent, or can impersonate one yourself. Great to read with Tomie dePaola's Finn M'Coul, the Giant of Knockmany Hill! The festival is every August 10 and there are lots of resources online if you want to create your own Puck Fair. It is also a nice story for a St. Patrick's day storytime.
A good Irish Fairy Tale.
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