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Imagine

Imagine you’re a veteran of the terrible trench warfare of WWI, a steel plate serving as your shoulder joint after you were shot by a German sniper. Back home in Pennsylvania, suffering from PTSD, you somehow manage to return to your childhood love of drawing and painting. You and your wife live on your meager

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Bear Hunt I

A Long Journey Back

In celebration of Black History Month, Melissa Sweet and I will be adding art images, quotes, and anecdotes from and about the life and art of West Chester artist Horace Pippin, the subject of our picture book A Splash of Red. Today, I begin with his first oil painting, The End of War, Starting Home, which took

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Horace Pippin Video

Another great man

This week is special for many reasons, as we honor and remember the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., celebrate the second presidential inauguration of Barack Obama, and look ahead to Black History Month in February. To continue this theme, here’s a short, excellent video clip narrated by a Philadelphia school student, in

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New book now available!

Who was Horace Pippin? Watch this short video … Order A Splash of Red from Indiebound. Order from Amazon.com. Order from Random House. Download the free Discussion Guide. Learn more about the book and Horace Pippin here and here.

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Eiffel Tower á la Nevada

Paris in the Desert

Quite a place, Las Vegas! Have you ever been there? I had not … and it exceeded my expectations for drama, scale, and a just plain off-the-charts sensory experience. The annual NCTE conference was held at the MGM Grand Hotel, one of the many hotels on the Strip that seemed (to me anyway) large enough to warrant its

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red poppy

For the Veterans

This week we recognize and remember our more than twenty million American veterans. Our geographical good fortune (i.e., to be situated between two oceans, Canada and Mexico) sometimes makes it easier for us as American citizens to forget that our current freedoms have come at a human cost and require our constant vigilance. The forthcoming

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red star

Starred review!!

Sometimes I write, sometimes I dance (mostly in my office when I finish a revision.)  This week, I am dancing because A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin received a starred review in Booklist. The review itself does an excellent job of summarizing Pippin’s difficult but inspiring life, as well as giving

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Pennsylvania Contest

The State of Things …

I grew up in New Jersey, but for most of my adult life, Pennsylvania has been my home. This week I’m delighted to attend the Pennsylvania Library Association Annual Conference in Gettysburg (which also happens to be the location of my alma mater, Gettysburg College.  Most people who live outside the state know Pennsylvania for its

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Andrew Wyeth Studio

We were spoiled!

We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by returning to the site of our first date: the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA. When we arrived at Andrew Wyeth’s home for the new studio tour, the museum staff spoiled us with flowers, a card and gift bag. Wow. This has always been a special place

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