Born in Ireland, Eve Bunting grew up in a tradition steeped in the art of storytelling and the magic of words. "There used to be Shanachies in the Ireland of long ago," she says. "The Shanachie was the storyteller who went from house to house telling his tales of ghosts and faires, of old Irish heroes and battles still to be won. Maybe I'm a bit of a Shanachie myself, telling my stories to anyone who'll listen."
In 1958 Eve Bunting moved to California with her husband and three children. It was there, several years later, that she enrolled in Writing for Publication class at her local junior college. Filled with ideas and a strong desire to write, she was, nevertheless, uncertain of what to expect. "All doubts vanished when I had my first published story and then my first published book," she recalls.
Since the first book, a retelling of an old Irish folktale about the giant Finn McCool, Eve Bunting has carried on her homeland's storytelling tradition in over a hundred books for children and young adults -- books about everything from sharks and horses to football players. "I like to write for every child," she says. "For every age, for every interest. That is why I have such a variety of books -- from pre-school, through the middle grades and beyond. The young adult novels I write border on the true adult novel, but I enjoy keeping my protagonists in their upper teens where lives are new and filled with challenge, where nothing is impossible.
"One of my greatest joys is writing picture books. I have discovered the pleasures of telling a story of happiness or sorrow in a few simple words. I like to write picture books that make young people ponder, that encourage them to ask questions. 'Why did that happen, Mom? Could it happen again? Can't we help? What can we do?' One child wrote to tell me that one of my books had won the Heal the World award at her school. It is among the most cherished honors I have ever received and the plaque hangs proudly above my desk."
In addition to this tribute, Eve Bunting has received many awards, including the Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in 1976 for One More Flight (Warne). In 1995 the Caldecott Medal was presented to David Diaz for his illustrations for her Smoky Night (Harcourt). Ms. Bunting has taught several writing classes, including one at the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives with her husband in Pasadena, California.