Happy Book Birthday, AMERICAN GOTHIC

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Release the balloons and pop the cork—the time is finally here when I can officially say… happy book birthday, American Gothic: The Life of Grant Wood!!!

My picture-book bio of the Iowa artist responsible for probably the best-known painting in American art history—pitchfork, anyone?—has already earned enthusiastic thumbs-up from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Journal, and Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. It’s a Junior Library Guild Selection. And then there’s the ✮STARRED✮ (yippee!) review from Publishers Weekly, which calls it "an inspiring study of an artist who learned to find beauty, truth, and inspiration in the people and landscape of his home.”

I’m so excited to share this mini-introduction to Impressionism, Cubism, Abstract art, and Regionalism with young readers everywhere! Ross MacDonald’s warm, sunny illustrations invite us all to dive right in to the rolling hillsides, wide skies, and rugged farm folks of Grant Wood’s beloved heartland, the subject of his most famous works.

The book is brought to you by the fine “art of books” people at Abrams; find fun activities, lesson plans, and more at!

© Susan Wood 2022