Bunting, E., & McCully, E. A. (ill.) (2009). The Banshee. Boston: Clarion Books. ISBN: 9780618821624
Annotation: Young Terry is awoken one night at his home in Ireland to an awful wailing. It’s the Banshee, foretelling death in his house! Can he convince her to leave his family alone?
Reaction: I really like the team Eve Bunting and Emily Arnold McCully make. McCully does a great job of translating Bunting’s words into beautiful illustrations that get across the mood and tone of the story. Her watercolors are washed in greys, indicating night as well as spookiness.
Bunting’s story introduces readers to the Irish superstition of the Banshee, a wailing woman who foretells death nearby, and she gives a portrayal of how that superstition might affect a child. I like that Bunting often introduces kids to different perspectives from what they’re used to, and this book could start a discussion about other bogeyman sort of superstitions they know about.
While this isn’t really a Halloween story, I think it’s one that could be read with older kids during that time of the year. The story is a little spooky and probably too scary for the preschool and under set, so I would wait to read it with children who appreciate fiction and that thrill of being a little scared.
Media Used: Watercolor
Author’s Website: None