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“Sunflower House” by Eve Bunting – review by Gael Nappa

Review of “Sunflower House” by Eve Bunting.

One of my favorite children’s authors is Eve Bunting. I adore the fact that Bunting is willing to tackle any topic for a children’s book without shying away from the difficult, or painful. She makes it possible to find a book about homelessness or loss of a parent that is understandable and not overwhelming to the young child. And yet, she is totally capable of treating a common, day to day topic like summer and flowers, with the joy and imagination that a child brings to summer. In “Sunflower House” a young boy plants a circle of sunflowers in his yard and then watches and tends them as they grow. He imagines them to be a variety of settings until they reach their full height, and they become his summer hideout and playground. He and his friends create wonderful scenarios to play out in the “sunflower house” even spending the night sleeping in them in one spread. She does not ignore the sadness as the flowers fade and die at the end of summer, but the boy helps us remember that the seeds that are left behind feed the winter birds, and plant a new sunflower circle for the next summer. Absolutely delightful, this is a story of spring planting, summer joy, and the cycle of life.

Gael Nappa
May 2013

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