Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Review: When Emily Carr Met Woo
Publish June 26, 2014
Award-winning author Monica Kulling’s, When Emily Carr Met Woo, offers a glimpse into the world of an iconic Canadian artist. Years before Carr’s paintings received critical acclaim, she was considered to be a “strange bird” by her 1920’s British Columbian community. Since no one wanted to buy Emily Carr’s art, she eked out a living by selling hooked rugs and renting out rooms in her home. She received unconditional love from a menagerie of pets, particularly Woo, a Javanese monkey. Woo had eccentricities of her own, including a penchant for pranks and collecting found and stolen treasures. When Woo fell ill after snitching and consuming a tube of paint, Emily feared for the life of her constant companion. Dean Griffith’s watercolour and pencil crayon illustrations capture Woo’s mischievous antics, from chasing dog’s tails, to plucking artificial cherries from the hat of an unsuspecting visitor. The scenes also convey the warm relationship between Carr and Woo, such as a striking image of the artist painting cedars in the forest with her sidekick, outfitted in a yellow dress, perched on her shoulders. This captivating picture book biography, written with elegance and straightforward simplicity, artfully captures Emily Carr’s passion for her craft, as well as her love for animals. End notes and an archival photograph add depth and historical details and provide a great introduction for young artists. When Emily Carr Met Woo by Monica Kulling illustrated by Dean Griffiths 978-1-927485-40-8 Pajama Press May 1, 2014 32 p Ages 5 -9 Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library. Her reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, School Library Journal and CM: Canadian Review of Materials. When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures. The National Reading Campaign publishes children’s book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.