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Virginia Wolf Hardcover – March 1, 2012
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... an ambitious story about girlish blues, sisterly differences and the healing power of art ...―The New York Times
... plum for adults ... a level of literary and biographical resonance to the tale of sisterly love.―Horn Book
Vanessa's act of love is recounted with grace and sensitivity in this remarkable collaboration.―Publisher's Weekly
Parents will enjoy sharing this book with their sometimes ?wolfish? children.―School Library Journal, Starred Review
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.―Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
... the book is ultimately a feel-good celebration of the power of the imagination and art to create perfect places in the world when none can be found.―Booklist
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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Top Customer Reviews
The illustrations are also very beautiful and mirror the story. Some might say the art alone makes it worth buying. I'd say it delivers everything it implies. Just remember that this is not going to be an accurate biography. It is, after all, targeted at children and teenagers.
Loosely based on sisters Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf tells the tale of a little girl who tries everything she can to pull her sister out of the doldrums. Her gift is an imaginary world, Bloomsberry, painted on the walls, and it works to turn her sister from glum to glad.
This is a multi-layered book that will delight children and adults alike. The adorable characters, raw emotion, and contrasts will appeal to even the youngest child, and the parent reading it aloud will enjoy the references to Woolf's writing, the message about sibling relationships, and the marvelous use of language.
Isabelle Arsenault is a multi-award winning illustrator whose mixed media illustrations add an extra layer to Kyo Maclear's marvelous words. Her use of black and for the ill-tempered wolfish girl and her world contrasts well against the colors of the world when Virginia is happy again. Her art is as much a tribute to the talent of Vanessa Bell as Maclear's stunning language is a tribute to Virginia Woolf.
Highly recommended for any family with a child who has tantrums.
I love that this book has the potential to inspire and guide not only the grumpiest, most wolfish child, but also adults who've also fallen prey to their wolfish tendencies. No matter your age, Vanessa's determination and the beautiful illustrations within Virginia Wolf's pages has the power to inspire and slowly tame the wolf within.
Key Words and Ideas:
Learning to deal with and handle emotion
Using art as an emotional outlet