Lumpito and the Painter from Spain – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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lumpTitle: Lumpito and the Painter from Spain

Written by Monica Kulling

Illustrated by Dean Griffiths

Published by Pajama Press, 2012

Inspired by David Douglas Duncan’s Picasso & Lump: A dachshund’s Odyssey

Ages: 4-8

Themes: Dachshunds, Pablo Picasso, Lump (Picasso’s dachshund)

Opening lines:

Years ago there lived a dachshund named Lump. His name was pronounced Loomp, which means rascal in German.


Based on a true story – a rascally dachshund name Lump lived with a photographer named David in Rome. While Lump loved his owner his life was constantly perturbed by the less than friendly antics of the other animal in the house, Big Dog. Lump was thrilled when David headed north to visit a spanish artist friend in SE France and there was only room for a small dog in the car!

The artist turns out to be none other than Pablo Picasso, who is depicted here as a fierce and warm bon vivant, who loves animals and nicknames the dachshund, Lumpito. The artist and the long brown dog bond over meals and moments of playfulness together: lying on the lawn, or listening to the moon’s secrets. Unlike Big Dog’s bullying back in Italy, here Picasso’s animals, a friendly dog called Yan and Esmeralda the goat, welcome the playful dachshund into their midst. Lumpito became not only a great companion for Pablo, but also a source of inspiration. Lumpito can be found in several of the artist’s paintings.

Why I like this Book:

The author conjures up warm, vibrant images using few and simple words. The use of simile is very effective and is a great opportunity of children to discover this device in a charming picture book. The watercolour illustrations reveal Lumpito’s and Picasso’s characters through their facial expressions and interactions. I loved the scenes with the old car wending its way through beautiful European (especially Provencal) countryside depicted as they travelled north from Rome. Dog lovers will love Lumpito and his story of how he met Picasso and warmed his way into the Spanish painter’s heart and paintings. Having lived in the region of France that Picasso loved, painted and frequented, I find this a compelling story to also introduce children in an indirect way to this famous artist. My favorite illustration is Picasso cradling Lumpito in his arms as they both gaze at the Provence night sky! The French scenes are all very authentic!


Picasso Dogs – from CurcovikArtUnits

1. Draw an eye anywhere on your paper. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

2. Draw a second different eye, several times larger than the first eye. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

3. Draw a nose or snout. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

4. Draw a leg or paw. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

5. Draw a tail. Turn your paper 90 degrees clockwise.

6. Connect the elements together with straight and curved lines.

7. Finish with markers or coloured pencils.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

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17 Responses to Lumpito and the Painter from Spain – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. Sounds like a truly delightful book that I’d love to read. The Picasso dogs activity is hilarious! This also brings me back to the Picasso museum in Barcelona. Good times.

    Happy weekend, Joanna!

  2. How cool! This looks like a fun book – and I’ll definitely try drawing, beginning with the eyes.

  3. Is that your very own Lumpito, Joanna? I know there is a visual artist in you!

  4. Wonderful book and fantastic Picasso Dog!!!!

  5. Wendy Greenley says:

    I need help with my snouts! That was fun to try. The expression on Lump’s face on the cover is endearing.

  6. Ooh a fun one. I’m sharing this on FB for my sister and brother-in-law.

  7. The cover really grabs you! I love that it is a story based on a true story about Picasso and his dog. Have never seen his dachshund in his artwork. Your activity is really a great for kids and adults.

  8. Rhythm says:

    Hahaha! This one is right up my alley! Dogs and art – they just go together! I’ll be looking for this one!

  9. My book bag is going to be very heavy this week with all the great recommendations. I like the looks of the illustrations and the story sounds wonderful. Having never traveled abroad I’ll look forward to the illustrations. And now I finally know how to draw like Picasso. Love the instructions.

  10. Joanna…what a charming book! I love books that encourage kids to delve into the art masters and their work…this one is sure to do that. And your resources and ACTIVITY…oh my goodness…AWESOME!

  11. This looks like an amazing story, Joanna. I’m reminded of Julia’s cat in Minette’s Feast.

  12. This sounds wonderful, Joanna. My kids can’t get enough of dog books at the moment.

  13. Added it to my list. Sounds wonderful!

  14. Joanna says:

    It’s adorable, Penny!

  15. This sounds delightful, Joanna! I love books that tell you about a little-known or off-the-beaten-track aspect of a famous person’s life, letting you get to know them better in the process! I will definitely have to look for this one – it sounds great!

  16. Pingback: Miss Marple’s Musings reviews Lumpito and the Painter from Spain | Pajama Press

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