‘One day my sister Virginia woke up feeling wolfish.’ Nothing can change her mood, though sister Vanessa tries and tries. When Virginia finally admits there is something – or rather a somewhere – that will make her feel better, it is up to Vanessa to create it.
This is an outstanding picture book on all levels. While the adults reading it may recognise the literary background, this is not the sum total of the story. It deals with the relationship between two sisters and tackles imaginatively the problem of depression. The author doesn’t preach, rather young readers will be able to sympathise and empathise as the characters face a difficult situation. Maclear’s text with its puns and direct voice is perfectly complemented by Arsenault’s exceptional illustrations that capture the bleakness of Virginia’s state and the desperation of Vanessa until the breakthrough. Then the bare white spreads populated by silhouettes – look at those spiky wolfish ears – become transformed as flowers, birds and animals burst into the pages in lovely lollipop colours. And guess what? Those ears become a beautiful blue bow. This is a book that that should be shared. It has so much to offer. Originally published in Canada, we must rejoice that it has arrived here.