Friday, December 2, 2016

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois

Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois

The book itself is beautiful.  Some of Isabelle Arsenault’s illustrations remind me of the work of Melissa Sweet.  There is greater variation in the illustration style and the textures throughout, coupled so nicely with the theme of the story, appear that you can feel the patterns with your fingertips.  I was not previously familiar with Louise Bourgeois’ life and I’m interested to learn more and check out her work at the MOMA.  Parts of the story felt very dark so, as an adult, I’m interested to read more about Louise and see if that is a reflection of true events in her life.  The passage referencing her throwing herself in the river with sadness that her father had left for business; the uncertainty of life and math; and especially the time frame following her mother’s death.  Like so many artists, it seems that these events are what catapult and inform her art and what may appear dark to us (spiders) really represents repair and wholeness.  A beautiful book, though somewhat abstract at times for some of the younger readers.  This book has citations and sources to accompany direct quotes used throughout the book.

After having written the above review, I was in Washington DC in mid-October for the SLJ Leadership Summit.  During a break in the day, I went out to walk and see some monuments with some of the other librarians.  Our walk took us through the sculpture garden outside of the National Gallery of Art and what did I see but a HUGE metal spider.  I instantly knew it must be the work of Louise Bourgeois and, it was.  I decided I needed a spider selfie.  Because of the setting sun, it’s difficult to tell but lurking over my shoulder is a spectacular weaver.

Title: Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois
Author: Amy Novesky
Illustrator: Isabelle Arsenault
Published 2016 by Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 978-1-4197-1881-6

This copy was received from the publisher for review.

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