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James Kaczman Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

bird worm illustrator review

Male. Education: Massachusetts College of Art, B.F.A.; coursework at Rhose Island School of Design and School of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Addresses

Agent—Gerald & Cullen Rapp, Inc., 108 East 35th St., New York, NY 10016.

Career

Artist, illustrator, and author. Commercial artist, with clients including Cisco, AT&T, Kodak, Microsoft, and Bloomberg.

Writings

(Illustrator) Rhonda Gowler Green, When A Line Bends … a Shape Begins, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 1997.

(Self-illustrated) A Bird and His Worm, Houghton Mifflin (Boston, MA), 2002.

Contributor of illustrations to periodicals, including Newsweek, Time, Forbes, Adweek, New York Times, Fortune, and the Wall Street Journal.

Sidelights

Connecticut-based artist James Kaczman is the author and illustrator of the children's story A Bird and His Worm. A bird who prefers walking to flying befriends a worm. When the time comes for the bird to fly south, his earthbound friend chooses to accompany him, and the duo set out on the back of a fox heading for Florida. The fox secretly plans to eat them for lunch, but is so overjoyed at the lovely conversation he has with the pair, that he lets them go instead. Later on down the road they try the same approach with a snake, but are not quite as lucky. Booklist reviewer GraceAnne A. DeCandido commented that "Kaczman mixes geometric and rolling shapes and splashes them with sunny, verdant color to make his winsome and offbeat story shine," while a Kirkus Reviews critic wrote that the author/illustrator's "sly, good humor, exuberant, original illustrations, and positive message make this a must read."

Kaczman, who is primarily a commercial artist for a number of New York City-based clients, began his secondary career as a book illustrator with When a Line Bends … a Shape Begins, by Rhonda Gowler Greene. Praising this toddler-attuned introduction to geometric shapes, a Publishers Weekly reviewer noted in their "clever and fun" book, "Greene and Kaczman collaborate effectively … through bouncy rhyme, familiar examples and clean-edged artwork."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of A Bird and His Worm, p. 240.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2002, review of A Bird and His Worm, p. 1311.

Publishers Weekly, September 1, 1997, review of When a Line Bends … a Shape Begins, p. 104; August 26, 2002, review of A Bird and His Worm, p. 67.

School Library Journal, September, 2002, Shawn Brommer, review of A Bird and His Worm, p. 195.

ONLINE

James Kaczman Web site, http://www.jameskaczman.com/ (March 29, 2005).

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