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Children's Fiction United States

Grant and Tillie Go Walking

by (author) Monica Kulling

illustrated by Sydney Smith

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jul 2015
United States, Art & Architecture, Cows
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2015
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 4 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3
  • Reading age: 4 to 8


Grant Wood believed that to be a real artist, he had to live in Paris. But once he got there, he realized that to be a great painter he needed to return to the people and places—and even animals—that he knew and loved the best.

Inspired by the life of artist Grant Wood, this is the sensitively imagined story of the great American painter and a cow named Tillie. Skillfully mixing fact with fiction, Monica Kulling’s text explores the making of an artist, while Sydney Smith’s illustrations echo Grant Wood’s own techniques. The result is a gently wise picture book that will encourage young readers and artists to trust the love that is sometimes only found close to home.

Includes an author’s note that provides biographical information about Grant Wood.

About the authors

Monica Kulling is the author of over forty books for children, including the popular Great Idea series, stories of inventors. The third book in the series, In the Bag! Margaret Knight Wraps It Up, was nominated for the 2012 Governor General’s Award for illustration and chosen as the 2012 Simon Wiesenthal Honor Book. In addition, Monica’s work has been nominated for numerous Silver Birch Express and Golden Oak awards. Her recent picture books include Lumpito and the Painter from Spain and Mister Dash and the Cupcake Calamity. Monica Kulling lives in Toronto, Canada. Visit her at

Monica Kulling's profile page

Sydney Smith was born in rural Nova Scotia and has been drawing from an early age. Since graduating from NSCAD University, he has illustrated multiple children’s books, including the highly acclaimed wordless picture book Sidewalk Flowers, conceived by Jon Arno Lawson, which won a Governor General’s Award, was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book and has been long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the illustrator of Grant and Tillie Go Walking by Monica Kulling and The White Cat and the Monk by Jo Ellen Bogart, both highly acclaimed. Sydney has received a number of other awards for his illustrations, including the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration. He now lives in Toronto and works in a shared studio space in Chinatown.

Sydney Smith's profile page


  • Commended, CCBC Best Books for Children and Teens

Editorial Reviews

The tender message to draw inspiration from the things you love still holds true in this mixture of fact and fiction.

School Library Journal

One of the best children's books written on the story of painting. Highly recommended.

CM Magazine

A heartfelt, visually pleasing, and informative read inspired by an artist’s love for his home.

Booklist Online

Using watercolours, ink, and a toothbrush, illustrator Sydney Smith mimics Grant’s style, bringing Kulling’s story of friendship, home, and ambition to life with an understated softness.

National Post

This fanciful story represents the power of friendship and the role of the familiar in the creative process.

Kirkus Reviews

Other titles by Monica Kulling

Other titles by Sydney Smith