Kirkus Reviews -"A charming story of Irish peasants, -- a small family with
delightful interplay of characters, and enough plot to sustain the interest.
But the charm of the story lies in its unique picture of Irish life and
countryside. The two older children take the donkey to a prospective purchaser
and have adventures on their way home; later they find a lost cave and some old
manuscripts, the sale of which helps solve a family problem." Copyright (c) VNU
Business Media, Inc.
Charming Irish Tale, March 19, 2004 - A.
VanHecke (Milwaukee, WI) - See
all my reviews The O'Sullivans are a family living in Ireland in the 1930s.
Mother and Father and Michael and Brigid are often at their wits end dealing
with the mischievous but loveable twins, Liam and Francie. Hilda van Stockum
brings her characteristic wit, understanding of children and enchantment to the
simplicity of family life. It is chock full of delightful adventures and
sub-plots from a bygone era. Brush up on your brogue and prepare for a delightful
read-aloud for the whole family. The sequels - Francie on the Run and Pegeen
are wonderful too. Pegeen is our
A Sweet, Well Told Story,
December 4, 1998 By A Customer.Great
story to read aloud to kids. Characters are spunky and positive. We went
through the three books of this series non-stop. Amazon.com.
ChristianBook.com:It isn't always easy raising a
family without much money, but the O'Sullivans prove that it is not only
possible, but that there is no price tag on fun and adventure. Father, Mother,
Michael, Brigid and twins Francie and Liam share a warm and mirthful existence in
their cottage at Bantry Bay--the fullness of which spills out into the Irish
countryside round about. Michael and Brigid brave gypsies, bogs and lonely
roads to sell a donkey in Kenmare for much needed cash, bringing back with them
an outcast gypsy dog. It is this dog, Bran, who brings help to lost and hurting
Francie and Liam when they have followed, in play, the English army too far
from home. Bran also uncovers a secret which will enable Francie to be sent to
Dublin for an operation on his foot. Here is a picture of an Ireland that once
was: a story which is yet wonderfully timeless in its celebration of family
love and hope. Recommended for ages 8 to 12. ChristianBook.com.
Edocere.org: This is the story of the O'Sullivan family from Glengarriff,
County Cork, Ireland. They live in poverty
have a wonderful spirit of charity.Mr. and Mrs. O'Sullivan, Michael and Brigid, Francie and
Liam (6-year old twins) are one body with one heart. They also find their happiness in simple
things. The children have many adventures, one of them being the discovery in a
cove of a treasure consisting of some very old poems. With the money given as a
reward for this great finding, the O'Sullivan family is able to take Francie to
a doctor in Dublin in order to have his foot fixed. An interesting character in
the book is Paddy the Piper. He is a bard, "someone who keeps the love of
Ireland warm in the hearts of her people." Irish Catholics suffered 800
years of religious persecution at the hands of the English. Poets were a big factor
in keeping the Faith alive (of uprising in 1916). Paddy gives his songs and
makes everyone happy. Strong points:
We see a united family whose members love each other.
The O'Sullivans live their Catholic Faith (for
instance, they attend Mass, p. 118)
Other families show kindness, such as the Flynns (p.
41-46) or the O'Flahertys (chapter 8)
The reader is introduced to the world of Irish culture
(fairies, etc.) and admires their perseverance in the Faith.
Paddy is the happiest person in the book and at the
same time he is the poorest. "Money is of no use to me. It won't
buy me the things I care for - the swell of the sea and the sight of the
gulls on the wing, the sweep of a road in front of me, the friendly faces
greeting me at cottage doors, the kindness of the stars at night, and the
wet nose of a dog pressed in me hand. Money won't buy me the look in a
mother's eye when she watches her child, nor will it make me flute play
faster or me blood run stronger in me veins." (p. 236)
Cautions: None. Conclusion:This book is a wonderful commentary on the doctrine of the Mystical
Body of Christ. The O'Sullivans all live in Our Lord. The Cottage at Bantry
Bay is an excellent story and the illustrations (by the author herself) are
Summary: The Cottage at Bantry Bay
Read-Aloud Book. I often have the hardest time
reviewing my very favorite books. The O'Sullivan family, of Ireland in the
1930s, have become very dear to us over the years. The story is simple and
charming, but very real...in the best sense. You pick up the book and can't
help reading it with an Irish brogue..and getting carried away from the modern
noisy, busy world of today to a land of simplicity and beauty (though not an
easy life). The O'Sullivans are poor, but their
home is filled with love. The older children, Michael and Brigid, take a
journey through the Irish countryside to sell the family donkey for their
Father. Along the way, they rescue a mischievous dog who leads them to an unusual
treasure. The young twins, Liam and Francie are adventurous and mischievous -
imagining themselves in the roles of heroes of Irish folklore. It's an excellent read aloud story
for the family or could be handled solo by a 9 or 10 year old. Hilda van Stockum
is a great storyteller; all-the-while weaving a great deal of faith and wisdom
into a lively glimpse of Irish culture. Reviewed By: Alicia Van Hecke, September
12, 2005. Live2learn.