From School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Inspired by photographer David Duncan's Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund's Odyssey (Bullfinch, 2006), this charming picture book chronicles the story of the unlikely friendship between Pablo Picasso and the photographer's pet. Duncan decides to have his dog accompany him on a trip to see the famous painter. Lump is happy to do so since the photographer also owns the aptly named "Big Dog" that torments and intimidates Lump daily. Upon arrival at Picasso's villa in the south of France, Lump immediately feels at ease and makes friends with Picasso's big, friendly dog and even with the goat that roams the grounds. Picasso finds the pup endearing and renames him "Lumpito." The canine and the painter become inseparable, and Duncan realizes that this is a much better home for his pet than he provides. The illustrations cover most of the page and are filled with color and exuberance. Particularly engaging are the expressions on Lump's face as he experiences a gamut of emotions: fear, caution, excitement, and joy. Many details that pay homage to Duncan's original photographs are included. The descriptive language would enhance ELA lessons, and art teachers could certainly find a place for the book in their curriculum. Younger children may find some background information about Picasso helpful, but this friendship story can stand on its own.-Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Based on a true story, this fictionalized account of Lumpito, a dachshund so beloved by Picasso that he included the dog in several paintings, works fine as a history lesson—and even better as a dogs-are-adorable lesson. Lump lives in Rome with a photographer and another dog, who routinely bullies and scares the little dachshund. Finally, a stroke of luck: the photographer takes a trip to southern France and brings along Lump, and there they stay with jolly painter Pablo Picasso. For Lump, the countryside is a revelation. Picasso’s home has a playful dog, a friendly goat, plenty of grass, and Picasso himself lets Lump eat off his plate. Recognizing the dog’s happiness, the photographer suggests that Lump live there, and Picasso happily agrees. Solidly told without anthropomorphization, the straightforward text is elevated by Griffiths’ panoramic double-page watercolors, which heartrendingly depict Lump as a hesitant, tentative animal just waiting for an excuse to become a happy, optimistic pet. The review copy included no explanatory back matter; regardless, this is a successful, warmhearted outing. Grades K-3. --Daniel Kraus