A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children (Awards))

by Jen Bryant

Other authorsMelissa Sweet (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2013



Local notes

921 PIP



Knopf Books for Young Readers (2013), Edition: First ed., 40 pages. $17.99.


Presents an illustrated introduction to the life and work of artist Horace Pippin, describing his childhood love for drawing and the World War I injury that challenged his career.


Original language


Physical description

40 p.; 8.87 inches


0375867120 / 9780375867125



User reviews

LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This one has a strong personal connection for me, since Hoarace Pippin is from West Chester, where I work. Ignoring that fact, this was an excellent book. The writing is strong, the research is thorough, and the illustrations are engaging. This book is a winner.
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
I just love Melissa Sweet's illustrations. I love picture book biographies. I love learning about people I didn't know about before. This book fits the bill!
LibraryThing member Imandayeh
This is a story about dreams coming true. Horace Pippin loved to paint but financially he was incapable of it because he needed to work. After the war he was injured and could not paint. He eventually began painting by holding up his right hand with his left. His paintings finally got recognition. I loved this story because Pippin found a way to do what he loves and he succeeded in it. Wonderful little piece of history that is beneficial for children to know about. I enjoy reading about the people in history that we don't always hear about or learn in school. I would recommend for grades 2-5.… (more)
LibraryThing member dscalia
Jen Bryant writes about Horace Pippin, an artist of the 1920s through the 1940s. It tells of his life and overcoming an injury from WWI. The reader sees his love of art from an early age and of his experience in WWI. Bryant explains how his right shoulder was injured in a bombing. It shows his courage when returning home and his determination to support his wife and do what he could to help. It shows his hope to become an artist again by his left hand holding his right so he could paint. It shows his artwork and where one can go to see it displayed. His paintings were simplistic with often a bit of red in the painting. The illustrations add to the interest of the book. This is a good book to read to middle elementary when helping students to see how adults over come adversity and continue to be hopeful.… (more)
LibraryThing member ekrynen
The book is very interesting, and seems accurate when compared with the additional notes in the back of the book. I think the author stayed fairly true to the story. It is fact-based, and doesn’t leave a lot of room for opinions from the author. Most lines with a hint of opinion come from how people felt about his artwork and success. The bibliography, author’s notes, and resources lists are all valuable tools for someone to delve deeper into the life of Horace. They are also fantastic resources for further exploration in the classroom!… (more)
LibraryThing member kailee.gibbs
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
by Jen Bryant

The book A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin is a biography of an artist Horace Pippin. He loved art, but he was pulled away from it because he had to provide for his family. He goes to war and loses his right hand, but learns to do everything with his left. At the end of the book his art becomes well known and loved.

This is a wonderful biography of a brilliant man. Pippin shows that he doesn’t take things for granted. This is a lesson many people including myself need to remember. Great lesson in a great book.

You could use this as an art project having students create a drawing using their non-dominate hand.

You could also use for creative writing asking students to write down what they are thankful for.
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LibraryThing member ediekm1990
The illustrations in this book were beautiful. Somewhat abstract and very colorful. It brought the words to life and made the information more interesting. I think it is important for kids to learn about other famous people in life besides the obvious ones. I didn't know a lot about Horace Pippin before reading this book. It was very informative.… (more)
LibraryThing member Jdwalker
This story is the children's version of the biography of Horace Pippin. The book starts out telling the reader about Horace's childhood and how even at a young age he was in love with drawing. The book takes you through Horace growing up and having to struggle to continue with his art due to lack of supplies, money and life circumstances. Horace ends up going into the military where he is shot in the arm. This injury leaves his right hand unable to do what Horace wants it to in order to create art. One night though, Horace realizes that he can use a fire poker to help steady his hand and help him draw. This inspires him to preserver even more to be able to continue being an artist. Horace finally gets discovered and recognized for his talent. This is a great story of perseverance and following your passion. The story was informative and would be exceptionally appropriate for younger elementary students to learn about Horace Pippin and his art.… (more)
LibraryThing member SuPendleton
This biography introduced me to the life and works of Horace Pippin. It is an amazing story of perseverance and of following your dreams. The story is written for younger children but older children will appreciate Pippin's story as well. I am so glad the author included further reading information, film, and websites to explore. I liked that the illustrator set the quotes from Pippin in different texts. The illustrations in this book are amazing!… (more)
LibraryThing member MiguelPut
inspirational to children and adults
LibraryThing member lrubin75
The story of Horace Pippin, African American treasured artist. Self-taught, overcame war injury to dominant arm, continued to paint despite lack of support, lack of resources/poverty, wasn't discovered until later in life by famous American artist N.C. Wyeth
LibraryThing member TaylorRankins
Horace loved art. He drew all types of drawings. Horace had an injury on his dominant arm and wasn't able to paint or do art. He eventually gained strength back into his arm and was able to continue his art. I thought this story was great. Horace loved art and he over came a horrible injury. He showed me not to ever give up and to keep fighting. I think this book would be a great message for children.… (more)
LibraryThing member crieder95
A Splash of Red follows the life and work of artist Horace Pippin. I like that the book followed him through all his ups and down in his life until he truly made it. They author went into great detail of his life and all the things he did so the reader feels like truly know Horace. It talked about his life as a child and love of drawing, his families struggles so he quit school to help, he grew up and still loved drawing, he went into war where he was shot and loss strength in his hand, but his determination helped him carry on and learn to draw again.
This book is great for aspiring art students who feel like they don't have the materials or talent to do it. But following Horace's life and his struggles and success is something to admire in him. This would be a great book to read to an art class, or before doing a study of famous artists. The illustrator studied and researched Horace to give homage to him in her own work. This is also something to get art students to look at and how they can be inspired by other artists work.
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LibraryThing member Enessa
A Splash of Red is the story of Horace Pippin. He was a child in the late 1800's and was a self taught artist. He went through a very humble beginning and had to overcome many obstacles in order to do what he enjoyed. I can definitely see why this book won an award.
LibraryThing member alexanderkai
This is my first time learning about Horace Pippin which forced me to do some research away from the book. He is an amazing artist who I would love to learn some more about.
LibraryThing member kberryman44
I have been a big fan of Pippin's work sense I studied him in an art class my freshman year of college, so to find out there is a children's book written about him, I had to check it out, and I was not disappointed. this is a beautiful story about a young man that loved to paint and about the adversity he faced throughout his career because of his race, war, and physical disability. I love that Pippin's story is about not giving up something you love because someone tells you can't do it, and that is a lesson I to want teach all of my students.… (more)
LibraryThing member JessicaLeupold
A nice biography. The collage style of the artwork of the book really ad to the story, you can see why the book was a Caldecott honoree. It's very informative, and the author includes a historical note at the end with more information about Horace Pippin. Pippin's life is very interesting and is wonderful story about overcoming adversity in how he retaught him self to paint with his non dominant hand after sustaining an injury during WWI.… (more)
LibraryThing member Sullywriter
Another stunning collaboration between Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet, this time a wonderful portrait of fascinating self-taught artist.
LibraryThing member reynolds2
A wonderful story of persevering through obstacles to live out one's passion and dreams! The illustrations are done in the style of Pippin - strong, true to life colors, with the inevitable splash of red.
LibraryThing member harrisrm
A Splash of Red has a wonderful book title that reflects the life of Horace Pippin. Horace was an artist born in the late 1800s. His passion was drawing, When he was a little boy he loved to give his drawings to his friends and family. His passion continued until he grew up and went to France to fight during World War I. During this time he was shot in the arm, which made drawing impossible. slowly her regained the ability to draw again. This book has a beautiful message about never giving up. Following your dreams.… (more)
LibraryThing member mcnicol_08
This excellent biography of the self taught artist, Horace Pippin, is told from birth to his success. The structure used by the author is very unique as the author and illustrator include quotes about the artist's emotions regarding his art. The illustrations are also very different with the use of watercolor, gouache, and collages, the illustrator is able to capture Pippin's art in the illustrations. This artist overcame poverty and racism, but he was also injured in WWI, and this disability almost caused him his career as an artist. Pippin was able to learn how to still paint with his arm injured.

This is a wonderful source for children as there is historical note, author's note, illustrator's note, further readings references, films, websites, and the sources for the quotations. This artist would be great for students to study, because he endeavored numerous challenges and was able to overcome and be recognized for his talent.
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LibraryThing member kamijake
The book is the beautiful bibliography about the artist Horace Pippin. It was a book about an African-American man that became a famous painter and overcame great poverty. This could be used in the classroom to inspire kids to overcome the odds that they have before them.
LibraryThing member adriennelaine
This book is a nonfiction narrative describing a self-taught African American painter and his journey to become a successful painter in a time where segregation and slavery were prominent.
LibraryThing member LFerda
This was possibly my favorite book thus far, from both the educational perspective and by pure enjoyment. The story shows the growth and experiences of Horace Pippen, an African American boy who loves art.
The book could have strong curricular connections to American History as it includes various historical facts and context for readers.… (more)
LibraryThing member kkrat2
Summary: A Splash of Red is a short biography of a renowned American artist, Horace Pippin.

Review: This book can easily be used in a history or art lesson. It shows how Horace Pippin retaught himself to paint after his arm was injured. It discusses the injury without focusing on it. We need to acknowledge different capabilities without fixating on them or making them the only part of an individual’s identity.
Melissa Sweet creates beautiful art that enhances the text. A small sample of Pippin's book at the end.
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(129 ratings; 4.4)
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