A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

By Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Praise

  • “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.”
    —Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

    “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.”
    —School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

    “This outstanding portrait of African-American artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946) allows Pippin’s work to shine—and his heart too.”
    —Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

    “…a well-structured narrative with recurring themes and a highly accessible style…outstanding.”
    —Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

    A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book - Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award - An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book