A girl in 17th-century Paris weaves a small tapestry as a gift for her father, and her work receives special recognition from Louis XIV.
Thérèse is part of an artistic family whose members all work in the king’s service. Her father and oldest brother are painters, and another brother is a weaver in the famous Gobelins Manufactory, which creates tapestries for the king’s palaces. Thérèse and her mother prepare yarn for the tapestries, but Thérèse wants to become a weaver herself, even though women were not permitted to work as weavers at that time. With the help of family and friends, Thérèse uses a painting by her father as the design for a tapestry that she weaves at home. The king is enchanted by her work, and he commissions a large version of her tapestry for his new palace at Versailles. Meticulous research by both author and illustrator makes the complex process of tapestry weaving accessible to all readers, but Thérèse’s story will be of particular interest to those interested in fiber arts. Detailed illustrations in jewel tones help create a believable personality for Thérèse and a convincing setting in the workshop in Paris. The final pages include a helpful author’s note on historical background, a glossary, a list of French terms with pronunciation, and a map of the Gobelins facility.
This charming narrative of a determined girl’s artistic talent and will to succeed in the family business makes a compelling story on an unusual topic. (Picture book. 6-10)