A Picture of Grace by Josh Armstrong


picture of grace

A Picture of Grace
Author: Josh Armstrong; Illustrator: Taylor Bills
Published February 17, 2015 by Josh Armstrong

Goodreads Summary: Six-year-old Grace aspires to be an artist like her beloved grandfather Walt. Every week, she goes to his house and watches with great joy as he paints.

Of course, not everyone appreciates Grandpa Walt’s artwork. But as Walt tells Grace, “Some people appreciate the hard work while others just want the painting to be finished. But you can’t be distracted by either group.”

When tragedy strikes, Grace takes it upon herself to honor Grandpa Walt in a special way. Through her act of love and kindness, Grace’s family discovers an amazing secret about Walt’s final, unfinished masterpiece.

My Review: Grandpa Walt’s warmth emanated from the pages. Everyone should have a person like this in his or her life. His impact on Grace is evident both during his life and after his death in the ways she honors him. I loved the ways art connects both Grandpa Walt, Grace, and the others in this text. The book inspired me to want to seek art as an outlet, and I think it will inspire kids, as well.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This would be a great book to use to discuss our heroes and role models. Children might discuss the ways in which Grandpa Walt serves as a role model for Grace and how he impacts her life. Then, they could explore how these qualities exist in other people (both famous and not).

Discussion Questions: How do the author and illustrator show readers that Grandpa Walt has passed away? Why do you think they chose to do it this way?; How is art used to enhance the story? How might you consider it to be symbolic?

We Flagged: “When I grow up, I want to be just like you,” said Grace

“That’s very kind of you,” said Grandpa Walt, “but I can think of nothing better than you simply being yourself.”

Read This If You Loved: The Invisible String by Patrice Karst, Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley, Grandpa Loved by Josephine Nobisso, The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Josh Armstrong for providing a copy for review!**

2 thoughts on “A Picture of Grace by Josh Armstrong”

  1. Depressing things trickling down to picture books now? Have to say that my father is Walt, and since he’s 81, it’s not going to be a “tragedy” when he passes away. It will be the way life goes. I’m sure there’s room in the picture book section for things on grandparents dying, and glad that this has some redeeming qualities.

  2. I hadn’t seen this book before. It sounds sweet and realistic for some kids out there. I like when kids can see their own lives in the books out there. Thanks for letting your readers know about it.


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