Virginia Wolf

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Virginia Wolf

by Kyo Maclear
Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault

Kids Can Press | March 1, 2012 | Picture Books

Virginia Wolf is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 2.
Vanessa''s sister, Virginia, is in a "wolfish" mood -- growling, howling and acting very strange. It''s a funk so fierce, the whole household feels topsy-turvy. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Armed with an idea, Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing "so that what was down could climb up." Before long, Virginia, too, has picked up a brush and undergoes a surprising transformation of her own. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf is an uplifting story for readers of all ages.

Format: Picture Books

Dimensions: 32 pages, 11.02 × 8.66 × 0.39 in

Published: March 1, 2012

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554536499

ISBN - 13: 9781554536498

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book for sisters! I was pleasantly surprised at the love Vanessa has for her sister in her efforts to cheer her up! We all have the doldrums, but it's so great to have a loved one who supports us and cheers us up! Vanessa does something for her sister that no one else can do to help her.
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical Tale of Sibling Love and True Moods - for adults and children alike I was thrilled to read this book because of how much I loved the first collaboration by this duo, Spork. A young girl is in the doldrums. Her sister senses the wolfish mood, and wants to do what she can to improve it. Snacks work temporarily but music does not. She tries many things before hitting on the perfect solution - transporting her grumpy sister to an imaginary world filled with all her favourite things - cupcakes and flowers and tiny animals and so much more. The creation of this colourful world cheer her sister up and transport the reader to a dream-like garden. It just so happens that the sisters in this story are loosely based on famous siblings, author Virginia Wolf and artist Vanessa Bell. But the heart of the story is a sisterly love and the message that giving of yourself and your talent means more to anyone than easily obtained things. My favourite books from childhood are the ones that I could grow with, that were layered enough that I could understand them superficially at a young age but kept opening more layers as I grew older. This is one of those kinds of books. What my kids see now is raw emotion which is not dampened by adults, and which is dealth with proactively by a sibling full of love. They see imagination in action, adorable characters, and generosity of spirit. What I see is a lesson I want my kids to learn, about how to deal with their own swirling emotions and those of the people around them. I see glimpses of Woolf books I have enjoyed, like Kew Gardens and To The Lighthouse. It will be exciting to read those books to my kids when they are older and watch as they connect them dots back to this book. I wonder how they will react when they realize that Virginia Woolf's moods were a different beast to the toddler tantrums they associate with Virginia Wolf. I have gushed before about Maclear's writing, how perfectly chosen each word seems to be. She is able to do the same in her children's books but with vocabulary that is accessible even to kindergarteners. The parallels in this book work exceedingly well for children because they are interested in opposites and also because of the quality of Maclear's words. Arsenault's mixed media illustrations take these clever words and add detail and historical flavour. The colour palette reflects the turn of the 20th century very well. What I am especially enamoured of, however, is her transitions, such as from black & white to colour and back, or from a page filled with rolling hills to a bed full of siblings. The illustrations convey emotion very well, not just in facial expressions but also in the order of the world around the characters. It is amazing how a switch in colour and a few brushstrokes in the hands of someone so talented can change your feelings from crabby to happy. Some sort of symbiotic magic occurs when Arsenault and Maclear work together, and the product is timeless picture books that appeal to children and adults alike. This book should find its way into the libraries of everyone who has ever had a bad mood.
Date published: 2012-03-31

– More About This Product –

Virginia Wolf

by Kyo Maclear
Illustrator Isabelle Arsenault

Format: Picture Books

Dimensions: 32 pages, 11.02 × 8.66 × 0.39 in

Published: March 1, 2012

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1554536499

ISBN - 13: 9781554536498

About the Book

When Virginia wakes up feeling "wolfish," her sister, Vanessa, tries to cheer her up. After treats, funny faces, and other efforts fail, Vanessa begins to paint a glorious mural depicting the world of the sisters' imagination. Will it help lift Virginia from her doldrums? Illustrations.

From the Publisher

Vanessa''s sister, Virginia, is in a "wolfish" mood -- growling, howling and acting very strange. It''s a funk so fierce, the whole household feels topsy-turvy. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Armed with an idea, Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing "so that what was down could climb up." Before long, Virginia, too, has picked up a brush and undergoes a surprising transformation of her own. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf is an uplifting story for readers of all ages.

About the Author

Kyo Maclear is an award-winning writer and novelist. Her first book for children, Spork, has received a number of honors, including a 2011 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award nomination. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Isabelle Arsenault has illustrated several children's books, including Spork, My Letter to the World and Other Poems and Mr. Gaugin's Heart. She has received many awards for her work, including the Governor General's Award for Illustration. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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