Nick's Reviews > Ballywhinney Girl

Ballywhinney Girl by Eve Bunting
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's review
Jun 01, 12

bookshelves: picture-book, juvenile-fiction
Read in June, 2012

This falls in the category of "picture book for older readers." I've seen criticism that the subject matter makes it unsuited to preschoolers, but the book was clearly never aimed at children that young. It's sort of like the problem of parents who think that all animated films must be aimed at young kids, and then complain about the contents every time they encounter one that's not.
Ballywhinney Girl is a very poetic book about finding a very old grave in the peat bog. The young girl central character, whose grandfather finds the mummified body of a girl a thousand years dead, spends the story musing about life, death and the passage of time in a way that the very young would be unlikely to comprehend or enjoy.
This is a much more serious book than the previous collaboration of Eve Bunting and Emily Arnold McCully, which was a leprechaun story. McCully's artwork sets a tone that I felt beautifully enhanced the story, told in what seems like unrhymed verse. The words were rich and fascinating, and the story would be a good one for the right audience, probably around grades 2-4.
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