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* "In the literary bounty of books about bad moods and bad days, this one goes deeper than most, poignantly showing literal and metaphorical glimpses of real depression. 'One day my sister Virginia woke up feeling wolfish. She made wolf sounds and did strange things,' begins narrator Vanessa. Huddled in bed, only pointy ears showing, is a wolf. Virginia's unable to bear the bright-yellow gingham of Vanessa's dress or the sound of Vanessa brushing her own teeth. This is potent misery: 'The whole house sank. Up became down. Bright became dim.' Vanessa creeps into bed to comfort her sister, but what finally helps is painting. At the wolf's suggestion, Vanessa paints a whimsical, expanding world called 'Bloomsberry,' bursting with blossoms, birds and magic. Arsenault reproduces the earlier 'Up became down' spread but inverts its position and hue: Now objects waft upwards and the mood is buoyant. The wolf -- previously a black near-silhouette with snout and tail, wearing a dress -- morphs back into a girl. Wolf ears, silhouetted from behind, become a hair bow. Ink, pencil and paint deftly divide color from black-and-white as emotional symbolism. Lettering is carefully handwritten. Knowledge of Virginia Woolf and her painter-sister Vanessa Bell is unnecessary; this works beautifully as a bad-day/bad-mood or animal-transformation tale, while readers who know actual depression will find it handled with tenderly forceful aplomb. (Picture book. 5-10)" --Kirkus (starred review)
* "Drawing inspiration from Virginia Woolf and her sister, Maclear tells the story of two siblings who share a strong bond and creative spirit despite their dissimilar personalities. ... It is the delicacy of the mixed-media illustrations (ink, pencil, watercolor, gouache) that tames the feral Virginia and gives real strength to the story. Parents will enjoy sharing this book with their sometimes 'wolfish' children." --School Library Journal (starred review)
"...an ambitious story about girlish blues, sisterly differences and the healing power of art. ...Isabelle Arsenault, who won a Times Best Illustrated award last year for her work on 'Migrant,' by Maxine Trottier, imaginatively and deliciously depicts a child's inner world." --New York Times
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.
This book is a fun story and the artwork is fabulous! Love it.Published 10 months ago by K. Johnson
My first graders love this book...they can relate to the idea of trying to make a friend who is upset or angry or grumpy feel better.Published 14 months ago by DDO
Very beautiful illustration and a very interesting story. Adults and children will appreciate it. I loved it and recomend it.Published 19 months ago by Angela Maria Bedran
Sisters are grumpy sometimes. Follow the story of one sister who tries everything to cheer her wolf-like grumpy sister. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Vicki
Charming illustrations and text. Good handling of the delicate subject of bad moods (or in the real Virginia's case, depression). Read morePublished 21 months ago by Guessmykat
I liked the book but I loved the trailer. I work with kids that have behavior problems & we are always trying to teach them how to recognize someones mood. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Shawn S
The sweet story of 2 sisters beautiful and lavishly illustrated , the use of the color juxtaposed with the raw black and white images flow seamlessly throughout the text-a gem!Published on July 12, 2013 by L. Gaines