A lovely seasonal book done by two friends of mine is THE BANSHEE by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCulley. (Clarion Books, 2009, $16.00)
Terry is awakened from sleep by a noise. Could it be a night-prowling cat or that horned owl who lives nearby? No, he is convinced it is the Irish legend, the Banshee who wails outside a house when death is near. But who could the Banshee be coming for? Terry’s Ma, his da, or brother Liam? He musters his courage and heads out to beg the Banshee to go away.
This spooky delightful story shows dramatically the Irish culture. The art done by our Chatham neighbor Emily is almost scary enough to make young listeners cuddle a bit closer to the reader. Terry’s courage going out to face the Banshee is made just that much more melodramatic through her uses of very dark colors and shades. Terry’s gift for the spirit of his prized peacock feather is a perfect ending to this clever story for Halloween .
This story certainly is not limited to Halloween, but has a definite place in any study of Irish culture for example.