Painting the Wild Frontier: The Art and Adventures of George Catlin (Children’s Book) Susanna Reich (Clarion Books, $21)

book-reviews_painting-the-wild-frontier-art-adventures-george-catlin_young-adultYoung Adult: This biography brings alive the will and vision an artist must possess to succeed.

Born in 1796, George Catlin lived during the intense period of expansion known as Manifest Destiny. Having met sympathetic Indians at an early age in Pennsylvania, he spent the rest of his life documenting them before their numbers dwindled tragically. The self-taught artist traveled to the most remote parts of the American continents to paint the faces, attire and rituals of 19th-century indigenous people. Samples of Catlin’s paintings, many from the Smithsonian Institution collection, are included throughout the book, and his adventurous life is told in readable vignettes of interest to both young adults and adults.

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