Vanessa's sister, Virginia, is in a “wolfish” mood --- growling, howling and acting very strange. It's a funk so fierce, the whole household feels topsy-turvy. Vanessa tries everything she can think of to cheer her up, but nothing seems to work. Then Virginia tells Vanessa about an imaginary, perfect place called Bloomsberry. Armed with an idea, Vanessa begins to paint Bloomsberry on the bedroom walls, transforming them into a beautiful garden complete with a ladder and swing “so that what was down could climb up.” Before long, Virginia, too, has picked up a brush and undergoes a surprising transformation of her own. Loosely based on the relationship between author Virginia Woolf and her sister, painter Vanessa Bell, Virginia Wolf is an uplifting story for readers of all ages.
Isabelle Arsenault is a three-time winner of the Governor General's Award for Illustration and has been shortlisted for the Hans Christian Andersen Award; her work has garnered her several more honors besides. She is the illustrator of Virginia Wolf; Jane, the Fox and Me; Cloth Lullaby; and Just Because, among many other books. Isabelle is also the author-illustrator of the A Mile End Kids Story series. She lives in Montreal, Quebec.
... 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.
... 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.
It's a tale to delight literary-minded adults as much as the kids they're tucking in.
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
Parents will enjoy sharing this book with their sometimes ?wolfish? children.
—School Library Journal, Starred Review
Vanessa's act of love is recounted with grace and sensitivity in this remarkable collaboration.