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Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear
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Virginia Wolf (2012)

by Kyo Maclear

Other authors: Isabelle Arsenault (Illustrator)

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» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
"One day my sister Virginia woke up feeling wolfish," the young narrator of this creative picture-book exploration of childhood emotion begins, going on to describe her sister's terrible mood, and her own efforts to do something to cheer her up. Eventually, it is the narrator's beautiful painting that leads Virginia to a better state of mind...

Apparently inspired by celebrated author Virginia Wolff and her painter-sister, Vanessa Bell, Kyo Maclear's narrative in Virginia Wolf offers a sensitive examination of the state of depression, as witnessed by a loved one. The mixed media illustrations by Isabelle Arsenault, who also collaborated with Maclear on Spork, make excellent use of black silhouettes and more colorful elements to capture the changing emotional register of the story. Vivid colors enter the picture through the narrator's painting, and reflect Virginia's slowly changing state of mind. Recommended to fans of Arsenault (in whose number I count myself), as well as to anyone looking for children's stories about depression. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jan 11, 2018 |
Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her sister Virginia up, but nothing seems to get her out of her wolfish mood. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing and before long, Virginia is painting, too. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, the book tells of the comfort and healing that sisters and art can bring.
  kelseymccaw | Dec 18, 2017 |
The best elements of this cleverly titled book are the plot and the illustrations. The plot makes this such a good book for sisters to read. Vanessa's sister Virginia has turned into a wolf because she's having such a bad day. She's so grumpy and doesn't like anything that she usually likes. So Vanessa has to find a way to make her sour sister all better. She creates a beautiful fantasy world for her out of paint and paper and it gets Virginia right out of her slump. Sisters should read this so that they can learn to love and appreciate each other more. Sisters should do anything they can to make each other feel better; this is probably the big idea. The illustrations were another good element of the book. There's a good contrast between the darkness of the world when Virginia is sad and the colorful world that Vanessa makes for her sister. It helps the reader understand the tone a lot better. ( )
  cmcdon13 | Oct 20, 2016 |
Vanessa's sister Virginia acts like a wolf. I have no idea if kids would like this, but as someone who admires/sorrows for Woolf, I think the extended metaphor really works. Poor woman.

Ahwoooo!

Library copy. ( )
  Kaethe | Oct 17, 2016 |
Governor General's Literary Award (Children's Literature - Illustration, 2012)
Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award (2012)
stunning illustrations, both colorful and solid black, acts of kindness, sisterly love
Ways to use this book:
*book is based on tale of famous author and her sister. Use this as an example and ask students to choose a famous person to research and write a fictional tale about ( )
  tawnyao | Jul 17, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kyo Maclearprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arsenault, IsabelleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Vanessa's sister, Virginia, is in a "wolfish" mood -- growling, howling and acting very strange. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell.… (more)

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