American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood

Susan Wood, illus. by Ross MacDonald. Abrams, $18.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2533-3
Readers learn the backstory behind painter Grant Wood’s most famous work in an account that movingly recounts his growth as an artist. Crisp, direct narration follows Wood from his home in Iowa to Europe, where he studied impressionism, cubism, and abstract art before being drawn to the gothic art movement. MacDonald’s illustrations are, as usual, a celebration of America’s yesteryears, and are ideally suited to the rural, regional focus that Wood brought to his art: “The weathered people in Grant’s painting were survivors,” writes Wood of American Gothic, “just as Depression-era Americans hoped to be.” An extensive author’s note and timeline bring additional depth to an inspiring study of an artist who learned to find beauty, truth, and inspiration in the people and landscape of his home. Ages 5–7. Author’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/07/2017
Release date: 09/05/2017
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