Published by Kids Can Press on March 1, 2012
Genres: Picture Book
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As I’ve built a library for my son, a priority has been finding books that can appeal to us both. Sure, I’ve got classics from Sandra Boynton and Eric Carle, but I’ve loved searching out unique, beautiful stories.
A new favorite I’ve found is VIRGINIA WOLF. Author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Isabelle Arsenault have teamed up to create a gorgeous, uplifting book about sisters and the things we’ll do for those we love. It delicately discusses feelings and mental health in a totally age-appropriate way—something I appreciate. One thing I’ve learned as I’ve moved into the second year of parenting is that very small children can have very big, complex emotions. This book is a beautiful way to introduce all the feelings we experience as human beings. (The story is based on the real-life Virginia Woolf and her painter sister, Vanessa Bell.)
In VIRGINIA WOLF, Virginia is deep in the doldrums and doesn’t know how to escape. Her sister Vanessa doesn’t give up. She searches for a way to make Virginia happy, and eventually finds it through painting. Together, they imagine a perfect place where Virginia will be happy and create it with paints. The illustrations here are stunning—they’re ethereal and whimsical and just so, so lovely. I seriously want to paper my bedroom in the pages.
My son is enthralled with the illustrations, and I truly enjoy reading this story aloud. This is one of those books that I will save for my son, just like my mom saved Tasha Tudor books from my childhood. It’s just a very special book.