Book Review: Picture of Grace
I received an email from the author of this book asking me if I would review the book. In the interest of full-disclosure, the author provided me with a gift copy of the book for my Kindle via amazon. I do not know the author or otherwise, but agreed to review the book here at my blog and and also to post the review at Amazon.com.
Picture of Grace is a short children's book in the genre of picture book. It is an endearing story about a young girl who adores her grandfather who happens to be a painter. She spends considerable time with him in his studio talking to him while he paints. Clearly, the little girl adores her grandfather and he clearly adores her.
I cannot say too much about the plot without ruining it for potential readers, so let me just say that it takes a quick turn and ends in a rather unexpected, yet pleasant, way.
As far as the story goes, this is a success. I rather enjoyed the story and I rather enjoyed the artwork. I have noted in other reviews of children's books that I am a fool for good artwork in children's books and this one got me too. I think the artwork is very well done and it compliments the story nicely. The characters are slightly exaggerated but this endears them to the reader. A lot of the story is conveyed through the characters' emotion displayed in the pictures. The artwork rendered nicely on the Kindle program running on my Dell 2in1.
I had two problems with the book. One is that at times the transitions in the story seemed kind of abrupt. This is a small thing to me and probably won't even register with younger readers. Mostly it's a matter of preference and it's not one that in any way detracts from overall content of the story.
The other problem I had was with the character Delilah who is the antagonist. Her character rankled me she was so unpleasant. I wondered where the influence for this character came from because she seems rather offensive and it was almost hard to believe someone could be so callous. With that said, this might be a character in the story where a child reader would need adult guidance to understand. Really, she's a fairly complicated character for a children's book.
On the whole, though, I enjoyed the story. It only takes a few minutes to read and it does have some meaningful lessons that can be pulled out and addressed by an adult. Among those themes, love, grace, death, family, and, well, mean people.
And mean people become the perfect place to speak to young readers about how to be a picture of grace and graciousness.
I have no problem recommending the book and awarding it 4.5 stars because of the issues I noted above.
Important Book & Author Things
- Where to purchase Picture of Grace (Amazon: Kindle, currently $0; hardcover is $13.67)
- Author: An interview with the author Josh Armstrong
- Illustrator: Taylor Bills
- Academic Webpage:
- Publisher: Self-published (?)
- Year: 2015
- Audience: children
- Reading Level: Elementary