BLOOM by Kyo Maclear
Kirkus Star

BLOOM

A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli
by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

An exuberant fictionalized rendering of designer Elsa Schiaparelli’s early life.

Maclear and Morstad (Julia, Child, 2014) again join forces, here exploring what sparked the firecracker of creativity in “Schiap” (pronounced “Skap”), an indomitable little white girl from Rome who went on to become one of the 20th century’s most influential and radical fashion designers. Maclear’s intimate, first-person, present-tense account begins with how the young Schiap internalized her parents’ affection for her beautiful older sister and their palpable disappointment in their less-attractive second child. It centers on an episode made famous in Schiaparelli’s autobiography—namely, when, around age 7, she was inspired to try to make herself more beautiful by planting flower seeds in her “ears, mouth, and nose” that then had to be removed by “two doctors.” Says Schiap: “My plan flops, but a different kind of seed is planted… / …a seed of wild imagination.” Here, as throughout the story, Morstad’s delicate, detailed mixed-media illustrations masterfully expand on the text, showing a full-page close-up of the doe-eyed Schiap’s face dwarfed by a dazzling garland of flowers, some of which are pointedly colored in what the adult Schiaparelli would later re-create as “shocking pink,” which set the 1931 fashion world “spin[ning] with panic and delight.”

Not only a gorgeous portrayal of this 20th-century creative genius, but an empowering tale encouraging readers to “dare to be different.” (author and illustrator’s note, endnotes, bibliography) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 2018
ISBN: 978-0-06-244761-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2017




MORE BY KYO MACLEAR

ChildrenFLO by Kyo Maclear
by Kyo Maclear
ChildrenYAK AND DOVE by Kyo Maclear
by Kyo Maclear
ChildrenTHE FOG by Kyo Maclear
by Kyo Maclear

MORE BY JULIE MORSTAD

ChildrenTHE DRESS AND THE GIRL by Camille Andros
by Camille Andros
ChildrenHOUSE OF DREAMS by Liz Rosenberg
by Liz Rosenberg
ChildrenBEYOND THE LAUGHING SKY by Michelle Cuevas
by Michelle Cuevas

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenCOCO AND THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS by Annemarie van Haeringen
by Annemarie van Haeringen
NonfictionELSA SCHIAPARELLI by Meryle Secrest
by Meryle Secrest
ChildrenBAD GIRLS OF FASHION by Jennifer Croll
by Jennifer Croll