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Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois Hardcover – Picture Book, March 1, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 156 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 2 Up—This picture book biography of artist Louise Bourgeois (1911–2010), who was best known for her installation art and sculpture, highlights the roots of her inspiration. Through text and images, the author and illustrator emphasize the aspects of Bourgeois's childhood that influenced her: the river that flowed past her house, the colors of the flowers and plants in the garden, the "web of stars above her," and her nurturing mother, who taught her how to weave and repair tapestries. Novesky makes excellent use of simile ("Her family lived in a big house on the water that wove like a wool thread through everything.") and alliteration ("She taught her about the warp and the weft and how to weave."). Bourgeois's mother is also compared to a spider—"a repairer of broken things." As the story progresses, the images of flowers and plants, the cloth, and the water become larger, sometimes taking up most of the page. The perspective also changes, as readers see what Bourgeois saw as a young girl—the beauty of nature, her mother at work, and the tools her mother used—and, finally, her creations: giant spiders and webs, spirals and circular webs, and cloth drawings and books. VERDICT An inventive introduction to the work of a celebrated artist and a useful mentor text for exploring how language and imaginative, varied illustrations can work together to convey an idea.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York

Review

**STARRED REVIEW**
"With evocative, gorgeous illustrations and an inspirational story of an artist not often covered in children’s literature, this arresting volume is an excellent addition to nonfiction picture book collections, particularly those lacking titles about women artists."
(Booklist)

"An inventive introduction to the work of a celebrated artist and a useful mentor text for exploring how language and imaginative, varied illustrations can work together to convey an idea."
(School Library Journal)

**STARRED REVIEW**
"The evocative, hand-lettered text, peppered with quotations in red ink, provides an impressionistic portrait of the memories, colors, sounds, and images propelling Louise's art. These motifs connect the imaginative ink, pencil, pastel, and watercolor illustrations, done in a palette of indigo, red, and gray. Bold, repetitive patterns of stylized flowers, woven crosshatches, spirals, giant spiders, and musical notes form the perfect background for the cloth lullaby Louise weaves for herself. Splendid visual and verbal introduction to little-known artist Louise Bourgeois."
(Kirkus)

Product details

  • Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition (March 1, 2016)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1419718819
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1419718816
  • Reading age : 5 - 7 years
  • Lexile measure : AD1000L
  • Grade level : Kindergarten - 2
  • Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
  • Dimensions : 9.38 x 0.5 x 11.38 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 156 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
156 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 11, 2016
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16 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 14, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on June 29, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

DMBP
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book with beautiful illustrations. I bought this for myself rather than ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 7, 2018
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3 people found this helpful
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Ken Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 1, 2019
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B.W.M
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful story & illuatrations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2016
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3 people found this helpful
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Lynn. h
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for adults and children alike
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 15, 2019
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Day tripper
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2019
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