GLEAM AND GLOW by Eve Bunting
Kirkus Star


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 9
Email this review


In this aptly titled, lovely effort from Bunting (We Were There, below, etc.), humanity simply shines through. The work is all the more luminous for its basis in actual events. Set against the turmoil of the Bosnian war, it concerns a family left bereft by the absence of the patriarch, who has gone off to fight with the underground. One day, a man fleeing his village stops at the family’s home and leaves a bowl containing two goldfish with the children. Despite the fact that the mother knows that her own family will have to depart soon, she gives in to her children’s pleas and allows them to keep the fish. Named Gleam and Glow, they literally and figuratively serve as the only bright spots in this bleak existence. The night before the family leaves, eight-year-old Viktor slips the fish into the pond on their property. Now all the family can think about is their safety and a hoped-for reunion with Papa, who eventually locates his wife and youngsters in a refugee camp. Many months pass before villagers can return to their homes. Sadly, houses and towns have been ravaged in the meantime, but this family discovers to its astonishment that life, if only in a small way, has transcended the horrors of war: Gleam and Glow have miraculously survived and multiplied many times over. Sylvada’s (A Symphony of Whales, 1999, etc.) oil paintings are dramatic and energetic. An author’s note recounts the true story that inspired the tale. Though characters’ names place them in an Eastern European milieu, this is a universal story that testifies to life rising from the ashes. (Picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-15-202596-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001


ChildrenLITTLE YELLOW TRUCK by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting
ChildrenI'M A DUCK by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting
ChildrenTHUNDER HORSE by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting


ChildrenHOW TO CATCH A FISH by John Frank
by John Frank
ChildrenFIREFLY MOUNTAIN by Patricia Thomas
by Patricia Thomas
ChildrenWELCOME, BROWN BIRD by Mary Lyn Ray
by Mary Lyn Ray


ChildrenWHERE WILL I LIVE? by Rosemary McCarney
by Rosemary McCarney