Thursday, June 26, 2008

Children's Book Review: Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara

Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara. Elvira Woodruff illus. Adam Rex. New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.

Discover how family memories travel around the world in the hem of a dress within the pages of Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara. Darcy Heart O’Hara notices small beauties while chores Granny and Mother ask of her are overdue. In 1845 during the hardships of the Irish Famine, Granddad delights the O’Hara children with stories around the fire and Granny spends quiet moments with Darcy in Ireland’s landscape. All the while Darcy gathers natural treasures throughout Pobble O’Keefe without spending a coin. After eviction from their land and home, the family’s future lies in free passage to America. Leaving her grandparents behind for the long voyage, Darcy’s stowaway riches recall the fragrance of family memories held dear including Granny humming and Granddad’s voice.

Lyrical text flows amidst memorable scenes of charcoal, graphite pencils, and oils on paper appear in various shapes and arrangements. Author notes include the story of Henry Ford whose family sailed from Ireland in 1847. End pages map the Atlantic journey. Ages 6-10.

Reviewed by Charity Leonette, Special Services Coordinator, Allegheny County Library Association. This review was printed in The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, Vo. 6(2) 2008. Available online at

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