Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant; ill by Melissa Sweet

Wonderful picture book - great for reading aloud!

I don't review pictures books very often anymore.  My boys are getting older, and have *sniff* begun to grow out of picture books.  Every once in a while, my 8 year old will want to read a book in one sitting, so he will pick up something that looks interesting to him.  It's my job to make sure that I supply not only books that will catch his eye, but books that he might learn from as well.

When A SPLASH OF RED showed up in my mailbox, I knew I had something special in front of me. Even the delivery man told me I had the "prettiest package in the truck."  It was wrapped in a foil pouch - a RED pouch.  I bet the delivery man had his own experience seeing this "Splash of Red" among all the brown boxes.

 A SPLASH OF RED is the story of artist Horace Pippin.  When Horace was a boy, he loved to draw.  "He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him." Horace's pictures always made people happy - his family, his school friends, even his co-workers and fellow soldiers when he grew into a man.

An injury in the war kept Horace from drawing, as he could not lift his right arm.  After several years, nothing could stop him, so he supported his right arm with his left and began drawing and painting again, to become one of the most celebrated American artists of the 20th century.

 The interweaving of text and illustrations create for a new experience with each reading, as new things are discovered.  There is a lot to look at without becoming overly busy.  The typed text is informative and interesting, without being too long for children with shorter attention spans. (Or for moms, dads or grandmas that are trying to hurry along bedtime!)

I am thrilled to have a book that will not only interest and engage my child, but one that will teach him about a beloved artist as well.

Book Extras:
Jen Bryant Website, Facebook, Twitter
Melissa Sweet website, Facebook, Twitter
Read more about Horace Pippin

About the Book

  • Reading level: Ages 5 and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867125

About the Author:
JEN BRYANT has published poetry, biographies, picture books, and fiction for young readers. Her last picture-book biography collaboration with Melissa Sweet, A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, was a Caldecott Honor Book. Jen lives with her family in southeastern Pennsylvania.

About the Illustrator
MELISSA SWEET is the Caldecott Honor artist of A River of Words by Jen Bryant, The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra, and Mrs. Harkness and the Panda by Alicia Potter, among others. She is also the author-illustrator of Balloons Over Broadway, which was awarded a Robert F. Sibert Medal.

Every Saturday, Julie at Booking Mama hosts Kid Konnection, where she features a book or anything related to children's books, middle grade, YA literature. Feel free to visit the post each Saturday, comment, and link up your own Kid Konnection post.
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