Cover image for The bones of Fred Mcfee
Title:
The bones of Fred Mcfee
Author:
Bunting, Eve, 1928-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Summary:
A toy skeleton at Halloween provides menace and mystery.
Language:
English
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 63508.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780152020040
Format :
Book

Available:*

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On Order

Summary

Summary

In this rhythmic story, an unsuspecting brother and sister bring a toy skeleton home from the harvest fair. They name it Fred McFee and hang it from a sycamore tree. Soon, eerie things begin to happen: The rooster disappears. The hens won't lay. Most terrifying of all, Fred's bones dance clickety-clack as night winds howl. And then on Halloween night, Fred McFee vanishes!

Eve Bunting's gleefully ghoulish tale is sure to become a Halloween classic.


Author Notes

Eve Bunting was born in 1928 in Maghera, Ireland, as Anne Evelyn Bunting. She graduated from Northern Ireland's Methodist College in Belfast in 1945 and then studied at Belfast's Queen's College. She emigrated with her family in 1958 to California, and became a naturalized citizen in 1969.

That same year, she began her writing career, and in 1972, her first book, "The Two Giants" was published. In 1976, "One More Flight" won the Golden Kite Medal, and in 1978, "Ghost of Summer" won the Southern California's Council on Literature for Children and Young People's Award for fiction. "Smokey Night" won the American Library Association's Randolph Caldecott Medal in 1995 and "Winter's Coming" was voted one of the 10 Best Books of 1977 by the New York Times.

Bunting is involved in many writer's organizations such as P.E.N., The Authors Guild, the California Writer's Guild and the Society of Children's Book Writers. She has published stories in both Cricket, and Jack and Jill Magazines, and has written over 150 books in various genres such as children's books, contemporary, historic and realistic fiction, poetry, nonfiction and humor.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

K-Gr. 3. When a boy and his sister hang a plastic skeleton in their sycamore tree, an eeriness falls over the yard. The lifelike Skeleton Fred makes a scary "clickety-clack" sound, and all the animals have behaved strangely since his arrival. Halloween night is moonless and eerie, and in the morning, Fred has disappeared--and there is a fresh gravelike mound of dirt below the tree. Some children may be confused and even put-off by the abrupt and obscurely presented burial mound, especially since Bunting's rhymed couplets leave everything unexplained. But others will respond to the rolling rhythms, suspense, and well-crafted sense of "ghoulish, ghastly glee," which is beautifully echoed in Cyrus' bold scratchboard-and-watercolor illustrations. Fred's slightly sinister grin, jangling limbs, and the deep, dark night, all shown from dramatic, shifting perspectives make for especially effective pictures. A Halloween read-aloud for kids who can handle the challenging, open ending. --Gillian Engberg


Publisher's Weekly Review

This ominous book, thrillingly chillustrated in high-contrast scratchboard, describes an uncanny Halloween decoration. Fred McFee is just a toy skeleton dangling from a tree, but he makes two siblings nervous. "He isn't real, but it's hard to tell-/ He's plastic, head to toe./ But all of his bones are joined so well,/ No one would ever know!" Bunting's (Smoky Night) classic rhythms cultivate an eerie ambiguity; Fred vanishes and a grave appears. Seen from precipitous angles, Cyrus's (Sixteen Cows) realistic images of billowing curtains, glowing jack-o'-lanterns and a watchful owl will give readers goosebumps. Ages 5-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-"There's a skeleton high in our sycamore tree,/High as high can be./He was hung up there by my sister and me,/High in our sycamore tree." With this spooky refrain, Bunting opens her ambiguously creepy tale. Strange things have been happening since the children brought the skeleton home, named it, and hung it up. The dog and rooster won't go near the tree, and the bones rattle and chatter in the dark, gusty night wind. The story, told in rhyme, keeps readers on the edge of their seats: is the skeleton made of plastic, as the children believe, or is it real? Cyrus's detailed, realistic illustrations, done in scratchboard and watercolor, are appropriately dark and are a perfect complement to the subtly scary mood of the text. Though this book is set near Halloween, children who enjoy a good shiver will want to read or hear it year-round. Pair it with Judy Sierra's The House That Drac Built (Harcourt, 1995) and Eve Bunting's Scary, Scary Halloween (Clarion, 1986) for a creepy Halloween storytime.-Heather E. Miller, Homewood Public Library, AL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.