Saturday, May 10, 2014

2014 Schneider Family Book Award Winner

 A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, won the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award for books for ages up to 10 that "embody an artistic expression of the disability experience."

It was also the 2014 Orbis Pictus winner this year.  The NCTE Orbis Pictus Award was established in 1989 by the National Council for the Teachers of English for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children.  Finally, it was also named a 2014 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor Book for one of the most distinguished informational books for children.

This picture book biography (definitely appropriate for ages 6-10) is about African-American self-taught artist Horace Pippin (1888-1946), who painted despite a severe injury to his right arm suffered in World War I.

Bryant and Sweet teamed up on A River of Words, a picture book biography of William Carlos Williams, which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 2009. Bryant was inspired to write about Pippin while researching for another book.  Sweet also wrote and illustrated Balloons Over Broadway, which won the Sibert AND the Orbis Pictus in 2012.  Sweet used watercolor, gouache, and mixed media (including fabric and wood carvings) in her illustrations for A Splash of Red.   She also lettered in many quotes from him among the illustrations.  The book also includes a page of resources (further reading, web sites, etc.), and there is a map on the back end pages showing places you can see Pippin's art, as well as some actual examples of his work.

© Amanda Pape - 2014

[The call number for A Splash of Red is ND237 .P65 B79 2013.]

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