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Bob Raczka (1963-) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

art review millbrook press

Born 1963, in Chicago, IL; Education: University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, B.F.A., 1985.

Career

Writer. Bish Creative Display, Northfield, IL, designer, 1985-87; Sears & Roebuck, Chicago, IL, copywriter, 1987; Hoffman York & Compton, Milwaukee, WI, copywriter, 1987-91; Ogilvy Chicago, Chicago, IL, creative director and writer, beginning 1991.

Member

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Writings

No One Saw: Ordinary Things through the Eyes of an Artist, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

More than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Art Is … , Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Here's Looking at Me: How Artists See Themselves, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Unlikely Pairs: Fun with Famous Works of Art, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Work in Progress

3-D ABC: A Sculptural Alphabet, for Millbrook Press, 2006. Where in the World: Around the Globe in Fourteen Works of Art, for Millbrook Press, 2007.

Sidelights

Having established his career as a copywriter and creative director at a Chicago-based advertising agency, Bob Raczka now shares his enthusiasm for fine art through books and talks with younger children. In More than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses, for example, he "stimulates an awareness of the breadth and diversity of art," according to Lynda Ritterman in School Library Journal. In the book Raczka encourages children to experience a work of art with all their senses, thereby gaining exposure to the many dimensions of creativity contained in a single work. He also pairs brief biographies of the artists with each work discussed, to provide a fuller context for study. Carolyn Phelan, reviewing More than Meets the Eye for Booklist, commented that "Raczka's short, rhyming text gives structure to the book, but the color reproductions of well-chosen, vivid paintings steal the show" in a book containing "a simple concept, beautifully executed."

Raczka's No One Saw: Ordinary Things through the Eyes of an Artist also focuses on art, this time explaining what each of a number of individual artists are known for. Booklist reviewer Gillian Engberg enjoyed the book, commenting that Raczka "gets to the heart of what artists do: create unique perspectives of the world." School Library Journal reviewer Rosalyn Pierini also found the book unique, writing that in No One Saw "the singularity of artistic vision is celebrated in [Raczka's] … gentle text."

Raczka told Something about the Author: "I have always been a creative person. As a child I loved to draw and make models, and I took numerous art and writing classes in school. I studied art and advertising in college and ended up becoming an advertising writer. However, after ten years in advertising I needed a more personally fulfilling creative outlet, so I decided to try writing children's books, a field that had always impressed me with its literary and artistic talent. It took me five years to sell my first manuscript, but in the process I also found my niche: creating books that help kids to better appreciate art.

"Writing books for children is the most rewarding thing I have ever done, and I hope to build upon the small success I've had so far."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of No One Saw: Ordinary Things through the Eyes of an Artist, p. 861; November 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of More than Meets the Eye: Seeing Art with All Five Senses, p. 513.

Kirkus Reviews, November 1, 2003, review of More than Meets the Eye, p. 1313.

School Arts, February, 2003, Ken Marantz, review of No One Saw, p. 58. School Library Journal, January, 2002, Rosalyn Pierini, review of No One Saw, p. 123; October, 2003, Laurie Edwards, review of Art Is … , p. 156; January, 2004, Lynda Ritterman, review of More than Meets the Eye, p. 121.

ONLINE

Society of Children's Book Authors and Illustrators—Illinois Web site, http://www.scbwi-illinois.org/ (July 6, 2005), "Bob Raczca."

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