Small Beauties: The Journey of Darcy Heart O'Hara

by Elvira Woodruff and Adam Rex

On the day Darcy Heart O’Hara is born, her Granny predicts that “One... read more

On the day Darcy Heart O’Hara is born, her Granny predicts that “One day this child shall hold the very heart of our family in the palm of her hand.” As a child, Darcy is often distracted from her daily chores by the beauty she observes around her: a dew-covered spiderweb, cloud castles, and a butterfly’s wing. Even when the potato crops rot in the O’Hara’s fields, and Darcy and her family worry about food and money to pay the rent, she notices moments of beauty. Eventually evicted from their home, the O’Haras leave Ireland to begin again in America. From the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the O’Hara’s miss their Irish home, and especially the grandmother who has stayed behind. When Darcy shows the small beauties she brought from home—a pebble, flower blossom, magpie feather, and wooden bead from Granny’s rosary—she truly holds the heart of her family in her hand and they are comforted by the memories the objects evoke. This restrained story of family connections includes an author’s note that tells briefly about the Irish immigration to America in the mid-nineteenth century during the potato famine. Oil paint illustrations capture the warmth of a close-knit family coping during a time of difficult transition. (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2007

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