Ireland, the Culture


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9351-6
DDC j941.5




Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is an elementary-school teacher in Ajax, Ontario.


In these latest additions to the Lands, Peoples and Culture Series, the
familiar format is maintained: each of the three 32–page books
contains several short chapters devoted to a specific aspect of the
topic, along with splendid full-color photographs, illustrations, and

The Land explains why Ireland is named the “Emerald Isle” with its
verdant farmland, peat bogs, lakes and rivers, and miles of coastline.
Ireland has a high level of rainfall and its favorable location in the
path of the Gulf Stream allows palm trees and other tropical plants to
grow there. The major cities, industries (including the fast-growing
computer industry), transportation modes, tourism, farming, and island
wildlife (no snakes, of course!) are described.

The Celtic heritage of the Irish is discussed in The People, with the
attendant Viking, English, and Scottish connections. The reader
discovers how the people live in the cities and in the countryside, the
origins of local customs (the tradition of the three-day wake began
during the great famine to prevent people from being buried alive by
mistake), what sports and leisure activities are enjoyed, and details
about the school system.

Ireland’s rich history is mined for The Culture. The legends of the
Celts and the mystical Druids are described, and St. Patrick and other
well-known Irish icons are given their due. The long Irish heritage of
dancing, singing, and making music is covered, as are Ireland’s arts,
crafts, literature, and folklore. The book also includes the retelling
of a legend and a short dictionary of Gaelic words and phrases.

Erinn Banting has done a fine job of encapsulating the kaleidoscope
that is Ireland. These three books are highly recommended.


Banting, Erinn., “Ireland, the Culture,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 29, 2024,