August 31, 2015
Lumpito and the Painter from Spain by Monica Kulling and Dean Griffiths
Lumpito and the Painter from Spain
by Monica Kulling
illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Lump, pronounced LOOMP, lived in Rome with a photographer named David. Unfortunately, Lump was not an only dog. He also lived with Big Dog. Big Dog made Lump nervous so Lump never slept well, ate fast and kept an eye open for trouble.
One day David packed up the car for a trip. There was only room in the car for one small dog — Lump.
Lump loved riding in the car and at the end of their destination he met a man who was happy to see him. Unfortunately, the man, Pablo Picasso, had a dog. A big dog.
Lump was determined to stick up for himself but he didn’t have to. Yan, a big, silly dog, just wanted to be friends. Soon Lump and Yan were running in the garden where Lump met a playful goat — the subject of one of Picasso’s sculptures. Lump accompanied Picasso to the dinner table, back to the garden and even to watch the night time stars. Like the goat, he found his way into Picasso’s art work.
Monica Kullings story is simple and straightforward, keeping the reader with Lump/Lumpito from the first page to the last. Griffiths’ art work ads color and depth to the story, giving expression to the dogs and the people alike. Readers who know a thing or two about art will even catch glimpses of some of Picasso’s paintings in the background.
The one thing that I wish this book had included was an author’s note or some other form of back matter. Yes, it is a small thing, but I sure would like to know how much of this story is true. Parts are obviously fictionalized – we do after all spend the entire story in Lumpito’s head and, to my knowledge, no dachsund named Lumpito left a diary of his live with Picasso.
Regardless, this is an excellent book about belonging and a great jumping off point for a discussion on art and inspiration and friendship.