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SMALL BEAUTIES by Elvira Woodruff


The Journey of Darcy Heart O’Hara

by Elvira Woodruff & illustrated by Adam Rex

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2006
ISBN: 0-375-82686-6
Publisher: Knopf

When Darcy is born after six sons, her grandmother says she will hold the heart of the family in her hand one day, and so she is named. As she grows, she notices things on their land in Ireland: a spider web sparkling with dew, cloud castles in the air. Darcy Heart, who has no pockets, takes a few stitches out of the hem of her dress so she can gather a flower petal or a butterfly wing. But the potato crops fail and there is no food. The agent of the Crown takes their cow and pigs (for they cannot pay rent), levels their cottage and offers passage to America. In a cramped cellar in New York City, Darcy takes out a bead from Granny’s rosary, a stone from their hearth and dried blossoms of heather and buttercup, to remind them all of home, holding in her hand the heart of the family just as Granny predicted. Rex’s pictures in charcoal, pencils and oils are strongly designed, with good use of the golden light of mist, memory and longing. Cityscape and cramped ship’s quarters contrast with Darcy’s green lane by the thatched cottage and the glow from its hearth. A little history in a lovely story. (author’s note) (Picture book. 6-9)