by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Although I’m feverishly trying to catch up on overdue book reviews since health issues have me backlogged, I dreamed over and over again about the book Grant and Tillie Go Walking last night and felt compelled to review it today.
A farm boy in Iowa, Grant was a part of the rural landscape, though he dreamed of adventure and excitement beyond the farm or so he tells his cow Tillie, his faithful companion and great giver of milk. So off he goes to Paris, hopeful of becoming a true artist. But, try as he might look like an artist in his beret and goatee, his artwork is missing something. Just as Tillie is missing Grant, Grant is missing home, “the place he loved and the people he knew best.” (pg. 31). And returning home, a place he’d thought he hadn’t belonged, brought the inspiration for one of his most famous paintings, that of his sister Nan and the family dentist as a stern farming couple.
http://sydneydraws.tumblr.com) but his subtle, speckled illustrations in Grant and Tillie Go Walking radiate the down-to-earth art of Grant Wood without mimicking it. Grant and Tillie Go Walking is an exemplary story of how an artist came to be an artist appreciatively told through the words and pictures of two artists in their own right.