Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Virginia Wolf” as Want to Read:
Virginia Wolf
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Virginia Wolf

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  1,515 Ratings  ·  272 Reviews
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 Blo ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Kids Can Press (first published 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Virginia Wolf, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Virginia Wolf

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
Vanessa's sister, Virginia wakes up feeling wolfish and the day goes badly which days can when a sibling is feeling that way. Vanessa coaxes Virginia from her bad mood by painting a world called Bloomsbury and by giving her sister a creative outlet, brings peace and happiness, allowing them to be happy girls and go outside to play. Beautiful illustrations from a very talented artist whom I hope never suffers from feeling wolfish !
David Schaafsma
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this chiefly because I have begun to follow the illustrator Isabelle Arsenault and have read a few of her picture books (Jane, The Fox & Me; Emily Dickinson: My Letter to the World; Collette's Lost Pet; Louis Undercover) and I am kind of crazy for her artwork. You see a pattern here, too, of her working with writers who like to (sometimes very loosely) base their books on writers/artists.

Virginia Wolf is a story about a little girl named Virginia who wakes up feeling "wolfish," but wh
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous book! The illustrations are to die for! What I especially love about Maclear is that she takes subjects that are of interest to adults, and makes them so kid friendly. She makes me want to write a children's book! This particular book alludes to the relationship between Virginia Woolf and her sister, Vanessa Bell, and their imaginary travels to "Bloomsberry." Sounds A LOT like Bloomsbury, and I love it!

I don't usually buy picture books, but I need this one in my life. I can't
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: art, picture
I'm not sure how much of this book kids would get/like, but it is awesome.

Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Vanessa's sister Virginia acts like a wolf. I have no idea if kids would like this, but as someone who admires/sorrows for Woolf, I think the extended metaphor really works. Poor woman.


Library copy.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated story of Vanessa Bell and her sister Virginia Woolf as two young girls. Virginia wakes up feeling wolfish, and her sister paints a beautiful garden for Virginia to help Virginia feel better. "Wolfish" felt like a way to talk about depression.
Quest'anno, col mio nuovo lavoro, ho scoperto (fra le tante cose) il meraviglioso e vastissimo mondo degli albi illustrati per bambini: cercando materiale da poter leggere ad una seconda elementare, mi è capitato fra le mani questo piccolo gioiello, e ne sono rimasta terribilmente affascinata. Disegni delicatissimi e tocchi di colore appena accennati vanno a comporre una storia bellissima, appezzabile in egual misura sia dai piccoli lettoi cui è destinata, che dagli adulti, che Virginia Woolf l' ...more
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bellissimo albo illustrato per bambini che mi ha lasciato addosso emozioni che poche altre cose sono in grado di fare.
Virginia è una bambina che,per motivi a noi oscuri,si sta trasformando in un lupo:non si alza dal letto,non vuole fare niente,ulula e piange. La sua sorellina però,estremamente intristita dalla condizione della sorella,decide di trovare un modo per aiutarla e ,attraverso la sua fantasia e il suo amore per lei,riesce a riscuoterla dal torpore che la incatenava nella sua condizione
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
I have been looking forward to the release of this book and it most certainly lived up to my expectations.

Vanessa is a young, cheerful girl with a sister, Virginia. Virginia hasn't been herself lately...she feels "wolfish" instead. When Virginia is "wolfish", she makes strange sounds, stays in bed, scares away her friends, doesn't enjoy the things that usually make her feel happy, is bothered by the slightest bit of noise, and just wants to be left alone. Vanessa is very supportive of her sister
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
If I were able to give this book separate ratings for the story and the illustrations I would give a solid 3 stars and 5 stars respectively.

I had concerns similar to those stated by some of the other reviewers. My primary concern being that the reference to Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell will go over the heads of most children. Secondly, but possibly more alarmingly, the author describes Virgina's experience as a bad mood. Obviously, what plagued the real Virginia Woolf was a much d
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Virginia is having a sad day, her sister tried to change that. Richly illustrated from gray tones to gorgeous florals, it changes the mood of the reader, as well. Being a big fan of Virginia Woolf, I loved this children's version of the heavy sadness Mz Woolf lived with and how her sister, Vanessa so often tried to alleviate that. It's a good story/moral for kids to see how they can help a friend who is feeling down by bringing happiness to them, listening to nuances and acting on them. Sharing ...more
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an odd but awesome little book. Loosely based on the life of Virginia Woolf, this book has a little something for adults and children. Fans of the real-life author will enjoy the references to her life, and children can enjoy this story about sisterhood, overcoming sadness and constructing your own reality - one that will make you happy. The illustrations are unusual and yet remind you of childhood in an intangible sort of way.

I've seen other picture books loosely based on the lives of adul
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
Virginia awakens one morning feeling not quite . . . herself.

Can her sister, Vanessa, pull her out of her blue funk?

This is a lovely book that makes me want to paint flowers on my walls.

Lulu Ali
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is so important!!
Mar 06, 2012 rated it liked it
When her sister Virginia falls into a very bad mood, Vanessa tries to cheer her up. After Virginia indicates that perhaps traveling to Bloomsberry might cheer her up, her sister uses her artistic talent to create that perfect place that Virginia has imagined. Virginia is intrigued by the beautiful world her sister has created, but in the light of day, she realizes that it is not as perfect as she had first thought. The mixed media illustrations, using ink, pencil, watercolor, and gouache, are be ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I admit I was intrigued by both the title and cover on this one. My curiosity about how this related to Virginia Woolf had to be satisfied!

Virginia Wolf is an inventive, beautiful book. The cover provides a peak at the exceptional, lovely illustrations throughout the book. The story follows sisters Virginia (Woolf) and Vanessa (Bell) as Virginia begins her day by acting very "wolfish." In fact, she's grumpy and surly and clearly suffering from a serious case of the doldrums. Vanessa uses her cr
Guillermo Macbeth
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro maravilloso. Es literatura infantil, pero no excluye a nadie. El texto de Kyo Maclear y las ilustraciones de Isabelle Arsenault no necesitan caer por la madriguera del conejo. Desde la primera página estamos del otro lado, pero no en peligro sino completamente a salvo. De hecho, muy a gusto. No está Alicia, ni el sombrerero loco, ni la reina de corazones. Los personajes de este libro, en cambio, tienen un parecido lúdico, algún aire de familia, con Virginia Woolf y su hermana, Vanessa B ...more
As an adult, it is difficult to separate the inspiration for this book--based on the lives of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell-- from the picture book text. I doubt many (OK, any) young readers would recognize the references to Virginia's depression and her sister's painting.

Judging the picture book on its own, the story is average. Beautiful illustrations, though.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Se lit très rapidement. Les illustrations sont magnifiques et le message véhiculé aussi. Plaira aux petits comme aux grands. :)
معصومه توکلی
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to معصومه by: Hanieh
Shelves: کودک
با آن اسم بامزه اش!
Children have bad moods, they have emotions that swing on a large pendulum, and anyone who has ever encountered a two-year old tantrum thrower will understand that it is part of them. Few will grow up to have the mental issues that Virginia Wolf faces, but these strong emotions are pretty universal.

How do we treat the kids around us who do have these strong emotions? In this picture book Vanessa has a number of suggestions for ameliorating her sister's ill temper, from music to food. What works
Nov 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-and-ya, fiction
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, it's a sweet story about one sister cheering up her grumpy sibling with compassion, patience, and creativity. On the other hand, because the book alludes to Virginia Woolf (also, Vanessa Bell and Bloomsbury) it's also alluding to mental illness and suicidal despair. Even though children won't know that, I feel the book inadvertently suggests that if you can't cure a loved one's depression, you're just not wonderful enough -- not the kind of ide ...more
Berna Labourdette
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bpd
La idea es un tanto naïve, pero funciona perfecto para explicar a los niños, no sólo la compleja relación de Virginia Woolf con su hermana Vanessa, sino también mediante el juego de palabras entre woolf y wolf, metaforizar las depresiones de Virginia que la transforman en lobo, que se acompañan con el cariño de su hermana, que mediante el arte logra que Virginia se sienta menos sola y lobuna. Los dibujos y el uso del color son muy bellos. 
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maar mama, je kan toch niet echt in een wolf veranderen?
Maar mama, waarom is ze niet gelukkig?

Heel mooi kinderboek over depressie, al denk ik wel dat mijn vijfjarige er nog net iets te jong voor was... (En mijn driejarige al zeker, want hij had het vooral over het gele kleedje van het hoofdpersonage - bleef iedereen maar altijd zo)
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book brought light to my soul.
deniz karpat
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maiada
Ucundan çocukluk çağı depresyonuna değinen ve bir iyileşme sürecinde ilişkinin önemine vurgu yapan bu kitabın kurtları kötü-kötümser gösterme klişesini kullanması dışında oldukça güzel yazılmış..
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Me encantaron las ilustraciones y la historia de la hermanita por complacer a la otra es divertidísima
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Great story about moods and sibling love!
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fascinating picturebook (intended for the Nursery-Primary level and up) about the heavy weight of the doldrums and how art can redeem the darkness of the soul. Loosely based on Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa, this book beautifully tells the story of Vanessa who is dealing with her sister Virginia, who wakes up feeling "wolfish" and is not even willing to get out of bed. Vanessa tries many things to cheer up her sister and is eventually successful only once she listens to her descri ...more
Nov 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault

This is a conceived story of sisterhood, written from the sisters perspective, Vanessa. Her sister, Virginia woke up in a bad mood. Vanessa goes to all efforts to try and cheer up Virginia.

Common themes throughout the books vary from the surface level of a sister not wanting to play with her sibling, to living with bipolar. This book is much deeper than I first thought, inspired by the life of the great writer, Virginia Woolf, and her battle wi
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • House Held Up by Trees
  • How To
  • Infinity and Me
  • Larf
  • Once Upon a Northern Night
  • The Heart and the Bottle
  • The Bear's Song
  • One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters
  • Little Bird
  • No Fits, Nilson!
  • The Man with the Violin
  • The Insomniacs
  • Sky Color
  • Magritte's Marvelous Hat
  • Happy
  • The Obstinate Pen
  • Chloe and the Lion
  • This Is Sadie
Kyo Maclear is a children’s author, novelist and essayist. She was born in London, England and moved to Toronto at the age of four.

Kyo is the author of several critically-acclaimed children’s books including: Spork (2010) and Virginia Wolf (2012), both illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault; Mr. Flux (2013), illustrated by Matte Stephens; Julia, Child (2014), illustrated by Julie Morstad; The Specific
More about Kyo Maclear

Fiction Deals

  • Mercy Among the Children
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Darkness There: Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • An Empty Cup
    $3.99 $1.99
  • I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Underground River
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Word Game
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fraulein M.
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Sister of Mine
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bury What We Cannot Take
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Searching for Grace Kelly
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Bricking It
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Thunder and Rain
    $9.99 $2.99
  • All Grown Up
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Light of Hidden Flowers
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ecstasy
    $13.99 $1.99
  • The Elephant Keeper's Daughter
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Virtues of Oxygen
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Home to Harmony (Harmony #1)
    $11.14 $1.99
  • Dog Crazy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Towers of Tuscany
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Who We Were Before
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Reluctant Midwife (Hope River, #2)
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Sin No More (Reverend Curtis Black)
    $10.39 $1.99
  • The List
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Lost & Found
    $5.74 $1.99
  • A Watershed Year
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Savage
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Designer
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Novice: A Story of True Love
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Go Away Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Leaving of Things
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Weight of Ink
    $10.99 $2.99
  • We'll Always Have Paris: Stories
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Hidden Flower
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Take Two (Above the Line, #2)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Heart Mender: A Story of Second Chances
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lisette's List
    $11.99 $1.99
  • This Burns My Heart
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Journeys of Socrates
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • An Absent Mind
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Book of Ruth
    $18.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Where We Belong
    $5.99 $1.49
  • Cashelmara
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Dumplin' (Dumplin', #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Sisterhood of Blackberry Corner
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Digging In
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Confessions of Catherine de Medici
    $11.99 $12.99
  • The Traveling Vampire Show
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Going Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Girl in the Glass
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Prayers and Lies
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Go the F**k to Sleep
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Just a Couple of Days
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Boleyn Inheritance (The Tudor Court, #3)
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Daughter of Union County
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Sugar Men
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Last Storyteller: A Novel Of Ireland
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Stiltsville: A Novel
    $10.99 $1.99
  • To the Bright Edge of the World
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The Patriots
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Flicker of Old Dreams
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All the Good Parts
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Food of Love
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Scattered Life
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Desert God (Ancient Egypt, #5)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (Malayan #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • An Amish Buggy Ride
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Elizabeth Street
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $4.99 $1.99
  • It Is Well
    $4.99 $1.99
  • A Sinful Calling (Reverend Curtis Black #13)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • On a Cold Dark Sea
    $4.99 $1.99
  • My Lady Viper (Tales from the Tudor Court #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Edward Adrift
    $4.49 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $1.99
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“If I were flying, I would travel to a perfect place. A place with frosted cakes and beautiful flowers and excellent trees to climb and absolutely no doldrums.” 10 likes
“One day my sister Virginia woke up feeling wolfish. She made wolf SOUNDS and did strange things...” 5 likes
More quotes…