Eve Bunting, 94, dies; Children’s books featuring adult themes

Eve Bunting, 94, dies;  Children's books featuring adult themes

Eve Bunting, who published her first children’s book at the age of 43 and wrote nearly 250 more over the next 50 years – retelling whimsical fables from her native Northern Ireland and gently introducing her very young readers to war, racial prejudice And like introduced adult topics. Homelessness – died on October 1 in Santa Cruz, California. She was 94 years old.

His daughter Christine said he died in hospital of pneumonia.

Mrs Bunting, who worked with many renowned illustrators and won numerous prestigious awards, described herself as the modern equivalent of the traditional Gaelic storyteller Shanachie, who would go from door to door regaling audiences with legends. One of those legends inspired his first book, “The Two Giants”, which was published in 1971, when he submitted it to a publisher himself without an agent.

Her journey as a storyteller began when she entertained her fellow students at a girls’ boarding school and ended when she taught her eldest grandchildren – and when she wrote her final book, “The Story of Love”, illustrated by Dianne Ewen. Completed “Alligators, Alligators”. , which was published this August.

In between, he won a Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for “One More Flight” (1976); Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery from the Mystery Writers of America for “Coffin on a Case” (1991); and the Regina Medal for “sustained, distinguished contribution to children’s literature” from the Catholic Library Association in 1997.

His “Smoky Night” (1994), Illustrated by David Diaz, it was awarded the Caldecott Medal, the highest honor for a children’s illustrated book. The American Library Association said that its “language and illustrations convey the universal importance of human interaction through the personal story of a little boy and his cat” during the Los Angeles riots that followed the 1991 shooting of Rodney, a black man, by police officers. Happened after King was beaten. Who were later acquitted of using excessive force.

His 2006 book “One Green Apple” won the first Arab American Book Award for books written for children and young adults.

His other books include “Fly Away Home” (1991), portrayed by Ronald Himmler, about a homeless father and son living in an airport terminal, and “The Wall” (1990), another with Mr. Himmler. Collaboration, in which a man and his son visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington to find the name of the boy’s grandfather among the dead.

Reviewing “The Wall” in The New York Times, young-adult author Walter Dean Myers said that it “does not explain the war” but rather “discusses our loss.”

He wrote, “It is a gentle book, full of feeling and sympathy for those who served in Vietnam and for those who still feel their pain” – a storybook for very young children that “will be read to adults. A reminder of how important it is to understand what happened, so that it doesn’t happen again.”

Mrs. Bunting said that “The Wall” required three years of thinking and one week to write. A 1992 episode of the PBS series ,Reading Rainbow, inspired by the book, won a Peabody Award.

Her young-adult novel “Spying on Miss Muller” (1995), was inspired by her own life. He also wrote an autobiography, “Once Upon a Time”, published in the same year.

Anne Evelyn Bolton was born on December 19, 1928, to Protestant parents in Maghera, a small town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland. His father, Sloan Edmund Bolton, was a cattle dealer whose rough exterior reflected his love of poetry. His mother, Mary (Canning), Bolton, was the local postmistress. The couple established a lending library at the post office.

From the age of 7 until the age of 18, Eve, as she was known, attended boarding school at Methodist College, Belfast, where, her daughter said, she “always knew she had a bit of a knack for writing.” It’s a bit of a gift.”

“At school,” she added, “she used to write essays for her classmates in exchange for their wartime ‘sweet rations’.”


In addition to his daughter, he is survived by two sons, Sloan and Glenn Bunting; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren. She had been living in a care facility in Santa Cruz for the past two years.

In 1958, to escape the sectarian violence, poor economy and rain in Belfast, the couple and their three children moved to Northern California, where Edward’s brother was living. While raising her family, she took writing courses at Pasadena City College. She became a United States citizen in 1969.

“I think that’s why I can write about how I feel about so many immigrants in this country, because I was one of them, and I know what it means no matter where you come from,” Mrs. Bunting Said In an interview with Literacy Program reading rocket,

Speaking about his book “Ghosts of Summer” (1977), which is set in contemporary Northern Ireland, he told the Junior Library Guild, “I tried to write a story that children would find exciting but it would give them a sense of prejudice. “It will also show the horrific horrors and the tragedy of a people torn apart by old hatreds.”

He added: “I tried to be objective, to be fair in showing both sides of the Irish problem. I hope that no child reading this will know whether the author is a Protestant or a Catholic. I hope none of the kids reading this care. I have expressed my feelings about Ireland in ‘Ghosts of Summer’; Love and sorrow.”

Reviewing “Going Home” (1997), a story of migrant workers between California and Mexico that Mr. Diaz illustrated, writer and editor Kathleen Krull wrote in The Times that “The story, for a second It also doesn’t lose sight of what it all means to a young child, and the ultimate underlying message is to promote tolerance and understanding, which is a common Eve Bunting theme.

In “The Cart That Carried Martin” (2014), illustrated by Don Tate, Mrs. Bunting learns of the death of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. via the mule-pulled wagon carrying his coffin.

“The cart was not heavy,” he wrote. “The coffin was not heavy. The man inside it was not heavy. His great soul was the heaviest part of him. It cannot be kept in a coffin.” When the wagon passes, someone asks, “Is it over?” The response is, “It will never end.”

Speaking to NEA Today, the publication of the National Education Association, Mrs Bunting said the best way to protect children from the harsh realities of life, whether they be race riots, killings, war or poverty, is to tell them the truth.

“I think we have to try somehow to increase their understanding of our difficult problems,” he said. “Children can deal with the truth if they have a caring person to help them understand it. I don’t want to write for children at any age.

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