Book love: Virginia wolf (…how to scare away a wolfish mood)

There is lots to feel wolfish about these days…take heart from an artful picture book designed to help your child recognize — and resolve — their sad, mad, bad days.

Virginia Wolf (Kids Can Press, 2012) is an award-winning book written by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. The book is loosely based on the real-life story of two beloved artists: Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell (who used art to lift her sister’s mood).

In the book, Virginia wakes up in a wolfish mood. Vanessa tries to cheer her sister up. But nothing seems to work. She is howling and growling and scaring everyone away. 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 “so that what was down could climb up.” The book ends on a happy note: “Now let’s go outside and play.”

Why we love it

It’s thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful. It’s one of those rare books that speaks to children and adults alike. I cherish this book, for its beauty and its wisdom.

On her website, Maclear suggests how to make a bad mood go away – great tips for kids and adults alike:

  • “Bloomsberry Mural”: Maclear works with schools to create murals, in which children imagine and illustrate a garden full of mood-lifting activities, mementoes and people. One cloudy day we painted the sky and sun on the ceiling of our daughter’s room. You could do the same at your home.
  • “Glad-day box”: You can create a tool kit full of reminders of the things that make you happy. Draw pictures or write a list of your happy-making things, people, places.

Kyo Maclear’s website (Select “extras” to download the Glad Day Box template)

My glad-day box would include:

What would you put in your glad-day box?

Here is the lovely book trailer for Virginia Wolf:

(Original post)

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