by Eve Bunting

Zoe has never seen Papa so happy or Mama so sad.

But when she takes a trip to the small prairie town with Papa, Zoe sees something that might make a difference to their new soddie, and to Mama's life, too.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Historical
  • Rating: 3.93
  • Pages: 48
  • Publish Date: May 1st 2001 by HMH Books for Young Readers
  • Isbn10: 0152024077
  • Isbn13: 9780152024079

What People Think about "Dandelions"

This family has two young girls, the oldest one named Zoe. This book shows and the struggles that one has to make to adjust to the new life. This is a great book is a historical fiction book and it helps the reader, especially the young reader to understand what oldest life was like and how the life was more difficult than now and they still have a nice and beautiful moment in their life. The reader can notice that the most color in this story is a dusty gold color or yellow color which gave the story special style and you can really enjoy like spending your afternoon with the beautiful grass and sky and with the Bolten family.

This is the story of the Bolten family moving west to build a new life.

It's not a great bedtime story, too long and detailed and the pictures aren't bright enough to see by dim light.

The story is told by the older daughter, Zoe, beginning with the trip from Illinois to the Nebraska territory which was to be their new home. Here is an excerpt from the first two pages that sets the mood of most of the book: Papa laughed and sang, 'Look at it Emma,' he said to Mama. Miles and miles of free land.' 'But it's so lonely,' Mama said. While in town, Zoe sees a patch of dandelions and decides to dig them up, take them home, and plant them on their roof at home so that their house will be easy to spot from outside. So the girls got Mama to come and look at them. (And, in case you're wondering, the book ends on a note of hope -- that although it takes time for the roots to take hold, Mama states that she can wait for the miracle to take place.

Dandelions is a wonderful book about a family who decides to pioneer west and leave their family at home. Zoe finds a few dandelions that will hopefully help her mother feel more happy in their new home. Eve Bunting definitely brings the story to life through the wonderful details. Zoe, the main character, and her family all behave in ways that are believable to the reader and show a little background of the time period. I say this because, Zoe knows that her and her family are strong like the dandelions and can get through anything together.

This is a good work for children to begin making inferences, especially pertaining to the feelings and inner thoughts of Mama in the book. It was so interesting to focus on this aspect of the story because it is a reminder of the difficulties and struggles that the women before us went through to follow their husbands in their wanderlust and dreams of settling. And like Mama in the story, many of them likely dealt with traversing the country while expecting and then knowing they would have to deliver their babies unassisted or in an unfamiliar town.

Mama tells her she must be patient, it's hard for flowers to be transplanted, and the story ends with a visual scene of a little sod house on an open prairie, roof covered in yellow blooms. In a book of this length much is necessarily left out -- you will have to read On the Banks of Plum Creek or Sod Houses on the Great Plains to learn how a soddie is built -- but Bunting's spare text gives just enough detail to evoke the feelings these settlers must have experienced, leaving the reader with the desire to learn more about this piece of American history.

The book seems very realistic and factual about life during that time period and place. They are all realistic to people who loved in that time period because they often moved away from their families too and the fathers had to be strong for hiss family. This is the main one for this time period and Bunting demonstrated it well through her characters. One thing that shocked me was how life truly was so different in that time period. This book could be a very good resouce in the classroom because it is about a family traveling.

Zoe and her family struggle with their move and worried how they will make a home out of their new land. It is written in first person point of view because the story is told by Zoe, who is one of the daughters in the family that is moving west. They are moving to a new area, so throughout the book feeling of fear, worry, and happiness are shared between family members.

Bunting went to school in Ireland and grew up with storytelling. In Ireland, There used to be Shanachies the shanachie was a storyteller who went from house to house telling his tales of ghosts and fairies, of old Irish heroes and battles still to be won.