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Gleam and Glow
     

Gleam and Glow

4.8 5
by Eve Bunting
 

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It's too dangerous to stay any longer-the war is coming closer. Viktor, little Marina, and Mama must pack what they can carry and flee their home. As they trudge beside the other refugees, Viktor worries about what lies ahead, and what he's left behind-his room, his books, the fish Marina loves so much. Even worse, his papa is off fighting with the Liberation Army and

Overview

It's too dangerous to stay any longer-the war is coming closer. Viktor, little Marina, and Mama must pack what they can carry and flee their home. As they trudge beside the other refugees, Viktor worries about what lies ahead, and what he's left behind-his room, his books, the fish Marina loves so much. Even worse, his papa is off fighting with the Liberation Army and doesn't know they've left home. How will Papa ever find them now?
Inspired by real events, master storyteller Eve Bunting recounts the harrowing yet hopeful story of a family, a war-and a dazzling discovery. 11 X 9. Full-color illustrations

Author Biography: EVE BUNTING is the author of many acclaimed books for young readers, including the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night. Her numerous honors include the prestigious Kerlan Award for her body of work. Ms. Bunting lives in Southern California.
PETER SYLVADA graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. His first picture book, A Symphony of Whales, won the Christopher Medal and was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book and a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book. He lives in Cardiff, California.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Inspired by true events in the Balkans, this tale centers on two goldfish that survive in a wartorn village and become a symbol of hope. PW said, "Eerie autumnal oil paintings provide the emotional backdrop for a tale of a family forced into exile." Ages 6-9. (Aug.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The story is all too familiar, unless you haven't been reading the papers or watching television news. A family hastens to escape their war-torn county, but before leaving, an older man leaves his fish bowl with the family. Little Marina names the fish Gleam and Glow, and her brother Viktor places the two beautiful goldfish in their pond in the hope that they may live a day or two more. The family escapes to the safety of a refugee camp and when the war ends, they return home. Sadly, it is only to find that all is destroyed, except that the beautiful fish have multiplied and filled the pond with shades of gold—adding some joy to their return home. As Eve Bunting remarked in one presentation "the saddest wars are civil wars." This story is sad but it ends on a bright note, and the closing picture is filled with the golden glow of the fish. The beautiful endpapers and cream-colored pages are a perfect complement as are the paintings by Sylvada, which early on are filled with dark colors to reflect the bleakness of war and then brighten as the people return home. This is a picture book that will also appeal to older readers. 2001, Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 7 to 9. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-With her noted skill in presenting difficult topics with clarity and sensitivity, Bunting has written an inspiring story based on the true experience of a Bosnian family forced to flee their country during the recent civil war. Eight-year-old Viktor watches as his father walks away to join the Liberation Army, and knows that soon he, his mother, and younger sister, Marina, will be forced to leave their home, just one step ahead of the approaching enemy forces. Already, strangers pass through Viktor's town on their way to the border. One man leaves his two golden fish with the family, explaining that, "An extra day or two of life is as important to a fish as it is to us." But just a few days later, as they ready themselves to depart, Viktor releases the fish into their pond. After days of walking and weeks of living in a refugee camp, the boy and his mother and sister share a glorious reunion with Papa and eventually return home. The land is ravaged by war and their home is destroyed but the fish have survived, even thrived-they and their offspring fill the pond. The simple, elegant language is at once moving and eloquent when juxtaposed with Sylvada's expressive oil paintings. The artist's palette of rich earth tones and striking brushwork reflect the strong emotional tenor of the story. Focusing on the fearsome impact of war upon families and children, and on those things that allow people to retain their humanity, this book deserves to be introduced and discussed.-Teri Markson, Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary School, Los Angeles Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

Inspired by a real incident from the Bosnian war, this haunting story tells of a refugee family's flight, the pair of goldfish the kids leave behind, and the surprise that awaits when they return. Compassionate, sobering, hopeful, and wise, the tale is played out against the bittersweet backdrop of rich, luminous oil paintings.

Kirkus Reviews
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)
From the Publisher
"Dramatic and energetic . . . This is a universal story that testifies to life rising from the ashes."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"One can't help respecting Bunting for the sensitivity she brings to issues like war, poverty, race, and immigration."—The New York Times Book Review

"Compassionate, sobering, hopeful, and wise."—Child Magazine

"Against the story's grim backdrop, hopeful themes prevail."—Los Angeles Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547539911
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/01/2005
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Lexile:
450L (what's this?)
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING is the author of many acclaimed books for young readers, including the Caldecott Medal—winning Smoky Night. She lives in Southern California.

PETER SYLVADA 's first picture book, A Symphony of Whales, won the Christopher Medal and was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book for Children. He lives in Cardiff, California.

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Gleam and Glow 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"U were my crush sence the first time i saw u"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and it was so easy to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story takes place in the country side, where this family has to move to the sloiders don't want people on some land. Unless you go to the border your going to be killed in your own home by being burned, so if your in the story you need to get to the border!I like this book because Ilearned you can't take everything you like.