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Thérèse Makes a Tapestry Hardcover – March 8, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Inspired by a tapestry on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum, this fictional tale of a family who work and live at the historic Gobelins Manufactory transports readers to 17th-century Paris. A third-person narrator reveals how a young girl creates a small tapestry for her father, a court painter for Louis XIV. Mother and daughter wind yarn onto spools for brother Mathieu to skillfully weave while father and brother Henri paint the scenes that inspire these beautiful tapestries, which are destined for palace walls. Though girls traditionally did not weave, Thérèse is so touched by a small painting of the palace in winter that her father gives her that she is moved to create a tapestry of it to surprise him. When King Louis pays a visit, he notices her small but carefully crafted piece and wants it for himself. Quick-thinking Henri saves the day, leaving all happy and satisfied. A loving family and determined young protagonist make this lengthy, somewhat special picture book more accessible. Endpapers feature a map of the Manufactory, which includes a weaving workshop, a painting studio, and more. Rich, detailed illustrations help readers understand the tools, materials, and process of creating a tapestry as well as how people dressed and lived during this period. VERDICT Recommended for museum libraries and larger collections where there is a demand for art history books.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools
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The illustrations are beautiful and capture the beauty of the time. I love the fact that Therese is doing something that girls or women do not normally do and does better than others expected. So well that even the King is in awe.
This is usually where I list what I did not like about the book. To be honest there is nothing I can think of in general but I do not feel the that the book is 5 stars for me. I mean the art is lovely, the writing is okay and together you feel like you are learning from both. I feel this is for children a little older than a 2 or 3 year old. While it is a interesting story I am not sure some toddlers are going to follow the story and stay interested.
Again the writing and illustration together really did fit well. If only all picture books could find perfect partnerships of writer and artist.
Posted first to Blog Critics as Book Review: 'Therese Makes a Tapestry' by Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs and Illustrated by Renee Graef.
Therese Makes a Tapestry by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs and Illustrated by Renee Graef is an exceptional work for a child. Therese is a young girl working in her family’s tapestry business, doing unraveling and cleanup, when she receives one of her first gifts from her Papa. It is a beautiful painting of the palace in winter. She is entranced and wants to do something special in return. Knowing that women are not allowed to do the actual tapestries, she nonetheless determines that she is going to immortalize her small painting through tapestry.
She works hard and is often belittled by her brothers who do the finest of work, but she knows that she can do this. She is nimble and determined and when completed she and her brothers are amazed at the final project. They do not show their pride but she does not care. This is her gift to give, and she is proud.
Hearing that her Papa is coming home she is unprepared for the surprise that is in store for her, one that will rock the tapestry business to its core. Will this damage the family business, and will her beloved Papa forgive her?
If you are looking for a book for your child that stretches the imagination and encourages them to push and challenge the status quo, you will not be disappointed. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is poignant, but exciting.
This is a wonderful reader, and the history takes you to a time long gone. This work is a true treasure for your child’s library.
This would be a great gift for your child and one that could be handed down for generations.
Rating 5 Charming Stars
Characters: Well Written
Plot: Thérèse makes a gift for her father
Overall: Well thought out, and masterfully written!
The cover is what caught my attention. I have always loved the painted look, (The Story of the Candy Cane was my favorite as a child!) This book didn't disappoint. Transporting the reader into a different time and place with beautiful pictures, and a master of words. Both a history lesson, and a charming story. I loved seeing Thérèse as she poured her heart into her gift, and the surprise at the end! A beautiful story that is sure to please!