Lumpito And The Painter From Spain

I’ve been sitting on the F & G’s for Lumpito And The Painter From Spain by Monica Kulling and Dean Griffiths for almost two weeks now.  I’ve been so busy with deadlines, grant applications and freelance editing that I haven’t had a chance to get to it.  Today I finally opened up the package from Pajama Press. What a delight!


Lumpito And The Painter From Spain is based on the true story of how a dachshund found a home with the painter, Pablo Picasso.  Monica Kulling tells a satisfying story with simple flare. Lump is an adorable dachshund who lives in Italy with David.  He loves his master, but Lump is unhappy.  We soon discover that his unhappiness has a great deal to do with his master’s other canine companion, Big Dog. Fortunately, when David is commissioned to photograph the famous painter, Picasso, Lump gets to come along. There’s only room enough for one small dog, so Big Dog has to stay behind.  On their arrival, the painter becomes enchanted with the little dachshund and even gives him a new name, Lumpito.  When David leaves, Lumpito does not. The dog and Picasso are inseparable. It’s no surprise that Lumpito inspires his new master and even appears in several paintings.

Dean Griffith’s gorgeous artwork compliments  Kulling’s story.  I loved the cover, especially with it’s focus on the adorable dachshund which wraps around to the back cover. Griffiths’ cover illustration of Lumpito invites the reader in by having them to follow bright red paw prints past a pot of paint brushes, past the title page with it’s spilled paint can, past the CIP data pages with swirls of colour, to the story’s beginning. Griffiths is clearly as at home painting landscapes as he is animals which he does brilliantly.  He captures perfectly the warmth between Lumpito and Picasso and several of the illustrations of the two are down right heartwarming.  The smattering of Picasso style renditions are equally accomplished and satisfying.

One of the things I most enjoyed about Lumpito And The Painter From Spain was how well Pablo Picasso’s larger than life personality came across without disrupting Lumpito’s story.  I suspect that more than a few readers will be intrigued enough with Picasso to want to learn more.

I also suspect that more than one dad reading this  bedtime story will wonder if Lumpito and David are really driving a Mercedes.  Yep, they are.  The photographer who left his dachshund with Picasso was the also famous David Douglas Duncan, who drove a Mercedes 300SL.

So, the next time someone tells you that picture books are a snap, I hope you’ll remember this one lovely book, and the obvious research that went into making it a perfect gem.

Lumpito And The Painter From Spain has an October 15, 2012 publication date. 


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Lumpito and the Painter from Spain is “a delight” | Pajama Press – News & Reviews

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