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
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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
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