A Splash of Red

The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (2013)
A Splash of Red


This outstanding non-fiction picture book for older readers tells the story of African American artist Horace Pippin.  A quote from the book: "Pictures just come to my mind...and I tell my heart to go ahead," is touching when you think of a child who did not have real art supplies of his own until he won a contest.  During World War I Horace was wounded in the right shoulder, and was unable to draw the way he had loved to so much. 

But one day, Horace got an idea.  What if he used his left hand to guide his right arm?  It took three years and 100 layers of paint, but Horace finished his first adult painting.  No one bought his paintings until they came to the attention of N.C. Wyeth, and then they began to appear all over the United States. 

Horace's story is inspirational.  The quotations sprinkled throughout the story are placed just right and the illustrations, created by watercolor, gouache, and collage, are right for this portrait of Horace.  This book received starred reviews from Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publisher's Weekly, and is highly recommended.

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