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A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)) Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Series: Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375867120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375867125
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Born in Pennsylvania in 1888, Horace Pippin loved to draw and paint as a child. When he was in eighth grade, his father left the family. Horace quit school and worked to support them. Later wounded as a soldier in WWI, he never regained full use of his right arm. Back home, Pippin began painting again, using his left arm to guide his right. Painting subjects drawn mainly from observation, memory, family stories, and the Bible, this self-taught African American artist was eventually discovered by the art community. Major museums display his works, and their locations are indicated on the U.S. map on the back endpapers, along with small reproductions of six paintings. In a well-structured narrative with recurring themes and a highly accessible style, Bryant writes short sentences full of memorable details, from Pippin’s first box of colored pencils to the scavenged house paints he used to paint his wartime memories. Combining drawings and printed elements with watercolor and gouache paints, Sweet’s mixed-media illustrations have a refreshing, down-home style and a brilliance all their own. The artwork incorporates large-print quotes, giving Pippin a voice here as well. Outstanding. Grades 1-4. --Carolyn Phelan

Review

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, February 18, 2013:
“Quotations from Pippin about the psychological scars of war and his artistic process are hand-drawn into Sweet's images, underscoring how art was not only a joyful outlet for Pippin, but also a vital means of interpreting the world.”

Starred Review, School Library Journal, January 1, 2013:
“Bryant’s meticulously researched, eloquent text makes this a winning read-aloud, while Sweet’s vibrant, folksy illustrations, rendered in watercolor, gouache, and mixed media, portray the joys and hardships of the man’s life, using his trademark palette…with just a splash of red.”

Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2012:
“This outstanding portrait of African-American artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946) allows Pippin’s work to shine—and his heart too.”

Starred Review, Booklist, November 1, 2012:
“…a well-structured narrative with recurring themes and a highly accessible style…outstanding.”

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There's also a list of resources for readers who'd like more information.
Catherine Nichols
The illustrations are created using watercolor, gouache, and collage, and incorporate quotations from Pippin as well as images.
M. Tanenbaum
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and finding out about the life of an artist from my town.
Joanne R. DeBoy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. George on August 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We got this to supplement our homeschool art curriculum. It is a beautiful book about an American artist many people probably haven't heard of. The illustrations are lovely and my 9 year old easily read it independently and wrote a report on it. Our girls, ages 4-6, enjoyed it as a read-aloud.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Nichols on April 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Author Jen Bryant and illustrator Melissa Sweet joined forces to create one of the best picture book bios I've read in a long, long time. All too often picture book bios leave me underwhelmed. They either are skimpy with the facts or too much information is crammed into 36 or so pages. A Splash of Red strikes just the right balance.

Bryant does a superb job of getting at the essence of Horace Pippin, a self-taught artist who, after being wounded during WWI, reinvented himself as a painter. Pippin's early love of art, his thrill of winning an art contest as a boy, and his determination not to give up are dramatically told in clean, vigorous prose. Particularly interesting is that nowhere in this bio does Bryant mention that Pippin is a black man. Although obvious from the art, Pippin's standing as an determined artist is what's stressed, not his color.

Sweet more than holds up her share of the partnership. Her illustrations mimic Pippin's folksy style, yet she brings her own sensibilities to the mix. Sweet includes Pippin's quotes into her artwork and she uses a combination of watercolor, gouache, and collage to obtain her effects.

The book's back matter includes a historical note that gives a straightforward account of Pippin's life. There's also a list of resources for readers who'd like more information. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Great Kid Books on March 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"Determined!" "Independent." "Thoughtful." "He stayed true to himself." These were my students' words about Horace Pippin, an inspiring African American painter. I loved sharing A Splash of Red, Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet's new biography of Horace Pippin, with our 3rd graders. Pippin's inner strength and creativity shone throughout this book. Share this book as you study African Americans and read about American artists. But most of all, read this book to connect with an inspiring individual.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I have to admit I was not familiar with Horace Pippin's name until I came across this picture book biography at the public library. My eight-year-old daughter loves to draw and paint, and was eager to read about how Horace became a famous artist.

Horace's story is told in an engaging format, with lots of color illustrations by Caldecott Honor winner, Melissa Sweet. The narration begins with Horace's birth in West Chester, Pennsylvania, his move to Goshen, New York when he was three years old, and the development of his artistic skills. Horace was poor, leading a harsh life, yet he always found time to draw using pieces of charcoal. He even drew on his spelling lists at school, earning the displeasure of his teacher, but then Horace's father left the family, and Horace had to leave school to help support his family.

The story moves along with Horace growing up into a young man who continues to work at various jobs to support his family, and then going off to join the military during WW I, and Horace gets shot in his shoulder. He is no longer able to draw or paint due to his injury, and settles down with his wife in West Chester. Yet, despite all the hardships and trauma, Horace yearns above all to draw again, and with this new-found motivation, Horace starts drawing.

Horace Pippin's story is inspiring as it tells the story of a man, who despite life circumstances, was able to overcome difficulties and find the will to unleash his talent, a talent so beautiful, coming from deep within his soul, that he became known as an American master. The end of the book provides additional biographical information about Pippin and his works, and this engaging picture book biography makes Pippin's story accessible to younger readers, ages 5 and up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edward J. Sherbahn on February 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about art, perseverance, and following your dreams.I wasn't familiar with Horace Pippin, but now I am glad that I am. This is a beautifully written and illustrated book about an African American artist and his amazing life and how art was a constant presence, I truly enjoyed reading and sharing this with my third graders as we have been studying African Americans and reading a variety of biographies.
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