Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
When Everybody Wore a Hat

When Everybody Wore a Hat

Fall 2004 Picture Books
Ages: All Ages
Author: Virginia Woolf
Illustrator: Julie Vivas
ISBN: 0152050485
Hardcover Price: $16.00
To parents who are familiar with Virginia Woolf’s groundbreaking and often highly complex body of work, it may come as some surprise that she wrote for children as well. Written sometime in the mid 1920s and found among the manuscript pages of the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf’s little story of magical animal-patterned fabric was originally a gift for a visiting niece and not intended for publication. This new release of Nurse Lugton’s Curtain is redesigned from a 1991 edition, but maintains the whimsical artwork of Julie Vivas. The story itself is a bit thin; for instance, Nurse Lugton is described at one point as an oppressive ogress, even though there’s no actual tension conveyed between her character and the animals she supposedly has imprisoned in the curtains she sews. Younger children will enjoy Vivas’ colorful tumbling animals, and grownup Woolf-aficionados will certainly want to check out such a departure from her typical style.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2004 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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