About Therese Makes a Tapestry:
Step back in time to seventeenth-century Paris with Thérèse, a talented young girl who lives and works at the Gobelins Manufactory, where Europe’s greatest artisans make tapestries and luxury objects for King Louis XIV. Even though girls are not trained on the great looms there, Thérèse practices on a small one at home and dreams of becoming a royal weaver someday.
This charming story follows Thérèse as she carries out an ambitious plan with the help of family, friends, and the artisans of the Gobelins. The intricate craft of tapestry weaving is illuminated, and surprises await Thérèse, her parents and brothers, and even the king himself. Children’s book author Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs here breathes vivid life into a delightful tale full of fun twists and an appealing cast of characters.
Original paintings by award-winning artist Renée Graef playfully illustrate the book, as well as the many steps involved in the creation of the famous Gobelins tapestries, from dyeing wool and making silver thread, to painting and copying the elaborate designs, to the delicate art of weaving.
Thérèse’s fictional adventures are inspired by real people, the actual Gobelins Manufactory, and a beautiful tapestry that hangs today in the J. Paul Getty Museum.
About the Author:
Alexandra S. D. Hinrichs loves exploring new places, including France, where she once studied. She lives in Bangor, Maine. Renée Graef has illustrated over seventy books for children, including the Kirsten series in the American Girl collection and many of the My First Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She splits her time between Los Angeles and Milwaukee.
From School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Inspired by a tapestry on display at the J. Paul Getty Museum, this fictional tale of a family who work and live at the historic Gobelins Manufactory transports readers to 17th-century Paris. A third-person narrator reveals how a young girl creates a small tapestry for her father, a court painter for Louis XIV. Mother and daughter wind yarn onto spools for brother Mathieu to skillfully weave while father and brother Henri paint the scenes that inspire these beautiful tapestries, which are destined for palace walls. Though girls traditionally did not weave, Thérèse is so touched by a small painting of the palace in winter that her father gives her that she is moved to create a tapestry of it to surprise him. When King Louis pays a visit, he notices her small but carefully crafted piece and wants it for himself. Quick-thinking Henri saves the day, leaving all happy and satisfied. A loving family and determined young protagonist make this lengthy, somewhat special picture book more accessible. Endpapers feature a map of the Manufactory, which includes a weaving workshop, a painting studio, and more. Rich, detailed illustrations help readers understand the tools, materials, and process of creating a tapestry as well as how people dressed and lived during this period. VERDICT Recommended for museum libraries and larger collections where there is a demand for art history books.—Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools.
Author Alexandra Hinrichs will be book signing Therese Makes a Tapestry at the 2017 Beyond the Sea Book Festival at Lincolnville Beach, on Saturday, July 22nd, 10:30-12:30.