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Eve Bunting. Author Study EDN 541 Ashley J. Hayden. Art Imitating Life.

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eve bunting

Eve Bunting

Author Study

EDN 541

Ashley J. Hayden

art imitating life
Art Imitating Life
  • Eve Bunting was raised in Northern Ireland during a time of social unrest. Bunting recognized that discrimination was present due to the general discouragement of Protestant children and Catholic children playing with one another.
  • Bunting’s mother and father were both advocates of literature and instilled a love for it in their daughter. Her father was fond of Irish poetry and her mother established a library in their home for the

small town of Maghera.

  • Religious and political conflicts encouraged

Bunting and her husband to immigrate to

the United States of America in 1958 with

their three young children.

bunting s craft
Bunting’s Craft
  • Eve Bunting was born in a land rich in a tradition of storytelling. “There used to be Shanachies in the Ireland of long ago,” she says. “The Shanachie was the storyteller who went from house to house telling his tales of ghosts and faires, of old Irish heroes and battles still to be won. Maybe I'm a bit of a Shanachie myself, telling my stories to anyone who'll listen.”
  • Bunting’s unique ability to create characters with realistic personalities and real-world problems allows readers to utilize her books as ways to cope with and overcome their own problems. Bunting’s selection of over 200 picture books, short stories, and novels offers a multitude of topics to which readers can relate. Bunting strengthens children’s language and literacy development by offering genuine texts that instill in children a love of literature and a pursuit of the raw “truth” from multiple perspectives.
bunting s inspiration
Bunting’s Inspiration
  • "One of my greatest joys is writing picture books. I have discovered the pleasures of telling a story of happiness or sorrow in a few simple words. I like to write picture books that make young people ponder, that encourage them to ask questions. 'Why did that happen, Mom? Could it happen again? Can't we help? What can we do?' One child wrote to tell me that one of my books had won the Heal the World award at her school. It is among the most cherished honors I have ever received and the plaque hangs proudly above my desk."~Eve Bunting
  • http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/bunting#interviews
interview with eve bunting
Interview with Eve Bunting
  • Bunting’s forbidden love…
    • “[Having a library in my house] was heavenly for me, because I could go along and pick out forbidden books. I would actually take them secretly up to bed with me.”
  • Bunting’s personal investment in her messages…
    • “I always feel that way about immigrants. I look at them, and I think, "I know what you went through" – in a different way, but in such a similar way. … They're here for the opportunities for their children. They're here to make money to send home. They're here, and they come here in difficult ways… They come to look for a better life, and I can absolutely relate to that. And I hope I write it with the feeling I have about it, because I know how hard it is. Harder for them than for me, admittedly; but, still, I understand.”
  • Bunting’s emotional attachment to her literature…
    • “Some of my picture books are very serious, like The Wall,

which is about a father and son going to the Vietnam wall to

find the grandfather's name. And it's from the heart, and I can't

read it aloud myself without crying, so I don't ever try to read

that one on a podium.”

  • Bunting’s take on happy endings…
    • “At the end of my books, I always try to have not a happy ever

after thing, but hope for the future.”

eve bunting s gift for skillfully utilizing rich descriptive language
Eve Bunting’s Gift for Skillfully UtilizingRich, Descriptive Language

Eve Bunting carefully manipulates language in such a manner that allows the reader to vividly live the events of her texts.

  • Examples include:
    • I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert
    • Dandelions
    • A Picnic in October

A woman with a thick braid of black hair pulls at my arm. She’s wearing a long, colored skirt that brushes the ground beneath her coat. There’s a little girl with her and a man in loose white pants that flap in the wind. The woman tugs harder on my arm and

points to the ferry, which is chugging away from the dock. She’s talking

to me and I don’t understand the words, but I can see she’s


“What’s she saying?” Mike asks me.

“I think she’s worried because the boat’s gone,” I say.

I smile at the woman. “It’s OK,” I say. “There’ll be another boat.”

I point at the ferry, then at the end of the line, then back at the ferry.

I make a turn-around sweep with my arm. “Another will come.”

She smiles and nods, and I can tell she understands and feels better.

~A Picnic in October

(rich, descriptive language – beautiful language that allows and

encourages readers to “experience” the story or poem)

eve bunting s gift for skillfully utilizing voice
Eve Bunting’s Gift for Skillfully UtilizingVoice

Eve Bunting breathes life into her characters. She crafts them in such a way that their experiences, attitudes, and emotions are unquestionably human.

  • Examples include:
    • Train to Somewhere
    • The Memory String
    • Dandelions

“I’d wanted to se a golden blaze so dazzling it would hurt our eyes. But

Above us there was only a green stubble with a patch or two of wilted yellow.

“They’re dandelions,” I said, fighting down a rush of disappointment. “You can hardly tell.”

“They’re not very pretty Zoe,” Rebecca said. “I wish they were prettier.”

“They will be,” Papa said quickly. “They’ll cover the roof and they’ll shout: ‘This is home!’ But their roots have to take hold

first, ‘Becca. It isn’t easy being transplanted.”

“Maybe they’ll never bloom,” Mama said. “Maybe they’ll just die of loneliness” Then she

squeezed my hand. “Oh, Zoe! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…you were such a dear girl to think-”

I interrupted. “They’ll bloom, Mama. They’re strong, like us.” I was almost crying and I didn’t

know why.

Mama and Papa were looking at each other. This was about more than the dandelions.

I could feel it.

Then Mama gave a shaky little sigh.

The sun was rising, red on the line of distance as the four of us stood, looking at the roof. I hoped

maybe one, just one, dandelion might lift its head for us. But not even one did.

Mama put her arm around my shoulder and pulled me close.

“Don’t expect a miracle Zoe. It will take time.”

“Can you wait?” I asked, my voice muffled against her.

“I can wait,” Mama said.


(voice – stories actually allow a human being to emerge in the writing)

eve bunting s gift for skillfully utilizing cultural references
Eve Bunting’s Gift for Skillfully Utilizing Cultural References
  • Eve Bunting’s literature frequently attributes value to the trials and tribulations of various cultures. By approaching the topic of cultural issues, Bunting instills in her readers an appreciation and understanding of

a diverse array of cultures other than

their own.

    • Examples include:
      • So Far From the Sea
      • Going Home
      • Cheyenne Again
  • http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/eve-bunting/
  • http://www.kidsreads.com/authors/au-bunting-eve.asp
  • http://www.bookpage.com/9705bp/childrens/evebunting.html
  • http://dept.kent.edu/virginiahamiltonconf/Bunting.htm
  • http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/catalog/authordetail.cfm?authorID=4202
  • http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/readers_guides/bunting/
  • http://www.childrenslit.com/f_evebunting.htm
  • http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/bunting
  • http://www.readingrockets.org/books/interviews/bunting/transcript
  • http://www.childrenslit.com/f_evebunting.htm