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. Ages 5 to 8. Hardcover, 40 pages.