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Ballywhinney Girlby Eve Bunting
Synopses & Reviews
A body? Buried in the bog where Grandpa was digging peat for the fire? Maeve is scared--and excited, too. Who is he, and how long has he been lying there? The police come, the villagers gather, and then the archaeologists arrive.It's not a he, it's a she, say the scientists, and she has been preserved in the bog soil for a thousand years! They take the mummified body away to study and to show in the museum. This girl from a thousand years ago--"a girl like me, maybe"--was partly Maeve's discovery, and Maeve feels a strong connection to this unknown being from the past. If that girl could choose, would she like being displayed in a glass case? Or would she miss the green meadow where she had lain undisturbed for so many hundred years? Numerous mummies have been discovered in Ireland's bogs, and Eve Bunting has captured the layers of thought and feeling that a child would experience, faced with such an awe-inspiring and mysterious discovery.
"In a haunting outing that treads on perhaps even more chilling turf than Bunting and McCully's previous collaboration, The Banshee (2009), the author whisks readers to the expansive countryside of her native Ireland. It's there, in a peat bog, that young Maeve and her grandfather make a startling discovery: the ancient mummified remains of a girl. Drama and suspense dovetail as the family and authorities follow procedures and come to grips with the significance of what they've found. 'I wasn't sure exactly how I felt,' Maeve thinks. 'There was fear/ and curiosity,/ but there was more./ Something I could not/ put my name to.' McCully's watercolor-and-ink compositions offer a front-row seat to the proceedings, though readers get just a few glimpses of the mummy. Maeve's delicately drawn face tells a tale all its own, filled with shock, concern, and sadness as she explores the connection she feels to the mummified girl. Though not for sensitive children, this memento mori has much to offer readers who are up to the challenge. An afterword provides information on the (fictional) story's real-life inspiration. Ages 4 — 8." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A young girl witnesses the discovery of the mummified body of another girl in an Irish bog and feels a strong connection to this unknown being from the past.
Maeve is unnerved when she and her grandfather find a body in the bog in Ballywhinney,
Ireland. It turns out to be the body of a young girl who lived more than a
thousand years ago. A girl like Maeve, with fair hair, who walked the same fields and
picked the same flowers. When archeologists display the mummy at a museum, Maeve
wonders: Does the girl mind being displayed in a glass case for all to see? Or does she
miss the green meadow where she had lain for so many hundreds of years?
Two picture-book masters sensitively capture the layers of thought and feeling arising
in the face of an awe-inspiring and mysterious discovery.
About the Author
EVE BUNTING has written over two hundred books for children, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night, illustrated by David Diaz. She lives in Southern California.
Emily Arnold McCully received the Caldecott Medal for Mirette on the High Wire. The illustrator of more than 40 books for young readers, she has a lifelong interest in history and feminist issues. She divides her time between Chatham, New York, and New York City.
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