|Bloom / Kyo Maclear & Julie Morstad|
Toronto: Tundra, c2018.
I saw this intriguing picture book biography at work; Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad are two of my favourite Canadian picture book duos so I obviously had to read this. It's an unusual book - told very simply and illustrated with the specific style I expect from Morstad. It's lovely, and features the colours and designs Schiaparelli is known for.
It tells the life story of Elsa Schiaparelli, all the way from the beginnings when two disappointed looking parents stand above her crib, sad she isn't a boy. And as she grows, she finds that unlike her older sisters, she is "brutta" -- ugly. She becomes enamored with flowers, which represent beauty to her.
The book focuses on the 20s and 30s, when she becomes a part of the surrealist art movement, and shows how that shapes her as a designer who can't actually sew, but has a vivid, experimental imagination. Because it's a picture book format, it's of necessity brief and glosses over quite a lot, but at the end there is more info and some suggested reading to learn more. I found this both useful and a little strange; all the suggested readings are books for adults, and it left me wondering who exactly the audience for this book is. The content is more suited to older readers; the style is more suited to younger ones. It lives in our children's department so perhaps those older middle grade readers or younger teens who have a passion for fashion might want to pick it up. So far it's been mostly adult readers enjoying this one here.
But it could be included in an art classroom for sure, and would stand up to other titles about creativity and art. I liked it, and as always, found the illustrations charming.