BY KYO MACLEAR
ILLUSTRATOR: ISABELLE ARESNAULT
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.
This picture book is absolutely gorgeous. The story is simple and effective, combined with illustrations that bring the imagination of a young girl to life. This title won the Governor General's Award for Children's Illustration and once you see the images inside, you'll understand why. I want to frame every single page and put them on the walls in my apartment.
The story alone is one that readers of all ages can relate to. Virginia is in a very, very bad mood and this book shows how a change in mood really can change the world around you. Her sister's insistence to help is uplifting and leads to the revealing of some secrets about the true nature of her wolfish sister.
If you're not interested in buying children's picture books for yourself, this one would make a lovely gift for any young girl in your life.