Written by: Monica Kulling
Illustrated by: Dean Griffiths
Published by: Pajama Press
Published on: October 15, 2012
Provided by the publisher for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Veteran nonfiction author Monica Kulling has teamed up with another veteran, illustrator Dean Griffiths, to create a basic introduction to Pablo Picasso.
Lump is a dog who lives in a big city in Italy with a photographer and another dog, who goes along with the photographer to visit a famous painter in Spain, Pablo Picasso. Lump shows up and gets along with Picasso, his wife, a goat, and another big dog so well that he gains a new name, Lumpito, and never leaves!
This is the kind of book that would be a hit with kids even if there wasn't someone famous in it. The seriously adorable dachshund, Lumpito, was a huge hit with my kids. Using a pet to introduce a historical figure is a great way to draw children in, as also evidenced by Minette's Feast, the introduction to Julia Child using her cat that was released earlier this year.
Picture books biographies about artists are extremely difficult I think. How do you pay tribute to an artist without copying their work or ignoring it? Griffiths does this well, I think, as the scenes outside of the creation of art are in Griffiths' own style, with lots of detail for Italy and Spain. Then the art scenes are excellent tributes to Picasso's work, with even the colours that Lump tramps through, leaving footprints, are the vibrant colours favoured by Picasso.
Using an adorable pet (check out the tail that wraps around to the back cover!) and a cute story, Kulling and Griffiths make the art and life of the 20th century's most famous artist accessible to even the littlest reader (or listener!).