With the turn in the season to chillier weather, I crave snuggly fabrics and nubby wool – and to feel it in my hands. When I came across Amy Novesky’s Cloth Lullaby about weaver Louise Bourgeois, it appealed to this connection between nature and craft. And, I also really love neat stories about people I’ve never heard of. Louise was, “raised by a river,” begins Novesky. This sets the tone for the book, as much of it is about her relationship with her mother, who dies when she is young, leaving Louise to weave together the remaining parts of her life into a tapestry of that same river. Novesky’s use of metaphor throughout is elegant – from vivid emotions like, “the color blue pinches my heart,” to her mother who was, ”as useful as an araignee (spider)”. Isabelle Arsenault’s colored pencil and pastel illustrations are layered and threadlike, including both broad scenes and small details. The “Author’s Note” at the end of the story provides further information about her life in a more factual style, and the photographs of her and her art are a nice inclusion.
Suggested Ages: This book is appealing to readers across many grades. Readers as young as Kindergarten will enjoy the illustrations as well as the story and older grade school students, particularly those studying biography, will be engaged in the story. The additional information at the end provides avenues for further study as well.