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Grandma Moses Library Binding – March 1, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-This inviting picture book covers the childhood, courtship, and mature years of Anna Mary Robertson, the self-taught artist whose cheerful, upstate-New York landscapes and scenes of family gatherings first garnered serious attention as she turned 80. Robertson's experience with and exposure to creative endeavors throughout the years are woven naturally into the narrative: she built "air-castles" (played make-believe), designed homemade paper dolls, watched her father paint "landscapes" on their living room walls, and, as an adult, painted an outdoor scene on her parlor wall. An author's note puts the artist's life in perspective, historically, and a bibliography highlights the source of the text's quotes. Wallner's folksy illustrations depicting both the chores and the glory of farm life serve her subject well. This work complements W. Nikola-Lisa's The Year with Grandma Moses (Holt, 2000), a title that presents Robertson through her own voice and art, but is more circumscribed in its coverage. Grandma Moses is sure to be appreciated during units focused on the accomplishments of women, artists, or octogenarians.
Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 3. Wallner, who previously presented the lives of figures such as Beatrix Potter and Laura Ingalls Wilder, now offers a short, illustrated biography of artist Grandma Moses. Beginning with Moses' childhood in rural New York, this picture book traces her lifelong interest in art. Though farm work and child rearing occupied her time for many years, the mental images she stored would serve as her subject matter when she became active as a painter in her seventies. Well-chosen quotations from Moses' autobiography give her a distinctive voice within the clearly written text. Decorative, narrative, and naive, Wallner's pleasing artwork recalls Moses' American primitive style. Although readers will have to look elsewhere for reproductions of the artist's paintings, this attractive book serves as a charming biographical introduction. An author's note and bibliography are appended. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (March 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823415384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823415380
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,880,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Going beyond her many children's books, Alex has written an adult novel THE PINOCCHIO RING and is blogging her new persona at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 19, 2004
Format: Library Binding
Filled with sprightly, colorful illustrations reminiscent of the work of the artist it celebrates "Grandma Moses" is an ideal way to introduce youngsters to art. Each painting catches the eyes with its bold shades and scenes of earlier days, while the text traces the artist's inspiration and the development of her paintings.
Born Anna Mary Robertson in 1860 the artist who would some day gain fame as Grandma Moses was raised on a farm in Washington County, New York. She was a happy child who enjoyed making believe, cutting out newspaper paper dolls and painting eyes on them with blue laundry rinse. Even as a young girl she liked to paint - scenes of the countryside. However, there was work to be done on the farm so she had little time to indulge her hobby.
At the age of 12 she left home to work as a hired girl for a family. Later, as a young woman working for another family she met their hired man, Thomas Salomon Moses. She was to write of that meeting in later years: "In those days we didn't look for a man with money, but for a good family, good reputation - many of the boys were chicken thieves."
The pair married and moved to Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. She would have loved to have painted that scene but she was kept busy churning milk into butter to pay for their cows. After their children were born the family moved back to New York where Anna Mary's days were full of household chores and tending to her children.
It was only after she was widowed and the children were grown that she could turn once again to her first love - painting. Once her work was recognized she became known as Grandma Moses, and lived to see her work hung in museums throughout the world.
- Gail Cooke
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By B. Johns on January 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book because it was recommended in our school's art docent program. I ended up donating it to the school because I didn't want any other docents in the future to think that they should have to buy it. It's fine as a story, but I expected the illustrations to be by Grandma Moses...since she's an artist and the book was about her.

I did end up getting a few big picture books of Grandma Moses' work at the local library. She has done some phenomenal works outside of painting. My favorites include:

The Year With Grandma Moses by W. Nikola-Lisa. It had a simple text on each page as well as a more informative one, so it was great to be able to chose the simple side of the page for my son's first grade class.

Grandma Moses: An American Original by William C. Ketchum, Jr. was awesome for large pictures and other art Grandma Moses produced. And the best part was that you can get these at the local library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The 3 Reading Divas on February 9, 2005
Format: Library Binding
Grandma Moses portrays the life of artist Anna Mary Roberston. Under her father's influence, during childhood, Anna Mary became interested in the arts and her passion for painting intensified as she grew. The story moves the reader through the various stages of Anna Mary's life, discussing her dreams and desires and culminates with her success as an artist.

Even though this book is geared towards beginning readers it is appropriate for readers of all levels, as it inspires individuals to follow their dreams, no matter what obstacles they may have to overcome.
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