Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Theodosius I to David Watmough Biography - David Watmough comments:

Mike Venezia (1945-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Adaptations, Work in Progress, Sidelights

children press york chicago

Born 1945, in New York, NY; Education: School of the Art Institute of Chicago, B.F.A.

Addresses

Office—Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., 35 W. Wacker St., Chicago, IL 60601. Agent—c/o author correspondence, Scholastic Library Publishing, P.O. Box 1795, Danbury, CT.

Career

Leo Burnett Worldwide, Inc., Chicago IL, executive art director and vice president, c. 1970-2003; writer and illustrator of children's books, 1978—.

Writings

How to Be an Older Brother or Sister: (What to Expect When It Happens to You), Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1982.

"GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD'S GREATEST ARTISTS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Picasso, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1988.

Rembrandt, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1988.

Van Gogh, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1988.

Da Vinci, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1989.

Edward Hopper, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1990.

Mary Cassatt, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1990.

Botticelli, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Michelangelo, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Paul Klee, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Francisco Goya, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.

Paul Gaugin, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

Pieter Bruegel, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1992.

Georgia O'Keefe, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1993.

Salvador Dali, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1993.

Monet, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1993.

Diego Rivera, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Jackson Pollock, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Grant Wood, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Andy Warhol, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

Pierre Auguste Renoir, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

El Greco, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Henri Matisse, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Alexander Calder, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Paul Cezanne, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Frida Kahlo, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Jacob Lawrence, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Dorothea Lange, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Norman Rockwell, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Edgar Degas, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Giotto, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Marc Chagall, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2000.

Raphael, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Roy Lichtenstein, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2001.

Frederic Remington, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Georges Seurat, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Henri Rousseau, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Johannes Vermeer, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

René Magritte, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2002.

Camille Pissarro, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

James McNeill Whistler, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Grandma Moses, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Titian, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Winslow Homer, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Eugène Delacroix, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

Diego Velázquez, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

"GETTING TO KNOW THE WORLD'S GREATEST COMPOSERS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED

George Gershwin, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

Peter Tchaikovsky, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

George Handel, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Aaron Copland, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Duke Ellington, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1995.

Igor Stravinsky, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1996.

Ludwig Van Beethoven, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1996.

The Beatles, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Leonard Bernstein, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1997.

Johann Sebastian Bach, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

John Philip Sousa, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1998.

Frédéric Chopin, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Johannes Brahms, Children's Press (New York, NY), 1999.

"GETTTING TO KNOW THE U.S. PRESIDENTS" SERIES; SELF-ILLUSTRATED

James Madison, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

John Quincy Adams, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2003.

George Washington, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

James Monroe, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

John Adams, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

Thomas Jefferson, Children's Press (New York, NY), 2004.

ILLUSTRATOR

Alan Gross, Sometimes I Worry, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1978.

Joyce Wakefield, Ask a Silly Question, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1979.

Alan Gross, What If the Teacher Calls on Me?, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1980.

Alan Gross, The I Don't Want to Go to School Book, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1982.

Charles Klasky, Rugs Have Naps (But Never Take Them), Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1984.

Pegeen Snow, Eat Your Peas, Louise!, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1985.

Julie E. Frankel, Mice, Children's Press (Chicago, IL), 1986.

Some of Venezia's titles have been translated into Chinese, Korean, Portugese, Greek, and Hebrew.

Adaptations

Some of Venezia's "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" books have been adapted for videocassette.

Work in Progress

More titles in the artists, composers, and presidents series.

Sidelights

Illustrator Mike Venezia filled an important trade paperback niche when he created the "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" series and its spin-offs, "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers" and "Getting to Know the U.S. Presidents." Colorful and fact-filled, Venezia's books about famous artists, musicians, and politicians introduce young readers to world figures they might be curious about, with samplings of the artists' works and kid-friendly cartoons that describe the individual's life, warts and all. Venezia was inspired to begin the artist series when his own children were young, and he soon learned how to write for children about adults who sometimes led troubled and tragic lives. The resulting books, to quote Hazel Rochman in Booklist, "will draw young children right into the joy of great art."

On his Web site, Venezia said that he was born in New York City and raised half in Manhattan and half in Chicago. He began drawing while very young and particularly enjoyed drawing airplanes with his father, who worked as an airline mechanic. Encouraged by school teachers to pursue work as an artist, Venezia enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. He then spent thirty-three years working for one of Chicago's largest advertising agencies, the Leo Burnett Company. In the late 1970s he began illustrating children's books on the side, and in the mid-1980s he launched the "Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists" series.

Each title in the artists, composers, and presidents series is similar in structure, format, and tongue-in-cheek playfulness. Venezia offers facts and samples of the artist's work—in the case of musicians, he describes the sound of compositions using analogies that young school children can readily understand. He is frank, but not lurid, in his descriptions of personal difficulties experienced by certain artists, preferring to dwell upon the individual's accomplishments in the professional realm. In the Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald the author/illustrator explained: "I wanted kids to understand that artists were people too, and that they had the same types of lives and problems that everyone else does."

Popular as research tools, Venezia's books have sold more than three million copies. He attributes their success to his style of whimsical cartooning that lightens up the subject matter and makes it more attractive to the very young. "I try to make the cartoons. I think that's the key to the whole thing—they have to get the kids' attention, but they have to have something that relates to the artist's life or the composer's life," he said in another Daily Herald piece. "I try to get weird, funny things that are interesting to kids."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 15, 1996, Hazel Rochman, review of Ludwig Van Beethoven, p. 244.

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 9, 1999, Kimberly Buck, "Local Author Introduces Great Artists to Children," p. 1; March 22, 2003, Sarah Fowler, "Artist's Books for Kids Don't Skim over Grown-Up Topics," p. 1.

ONLINE

Mike Venezia Home Page, http://www.mikevenezia.com/ (December 24, 2003).*

[back] Nydia Velázquez: 1953—: U.S. Congressional Representative Biography - Earned Master's Degree, Served On New York City Council, Re-elected Despite Reduced Latino Percentage

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or