Keith Graves Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights
Hobbies and other interests: Befriending armadillos.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Philomel, Putnam Berkley Group, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016.
Artist, illustrator, and writer.
Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1999.
Pet Boy, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2000.
Uncle Blubbafink's Seriously Ridiculous Stories, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
Mary Alice Fontenot, Clove Crawfish and Petit Papillon, Pelican Pub. Co. (Grenta, LA), 1984.
Mary Alice Fontenot, Clovis Crawfish and His Friends, Pelican Pub. Co. (Gretna, LA), 1985.
Helen Ketteman, Armadillo Tatletale, Scholastic Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Margie Palatini, Moo Who?, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Sandy Asher, Too Many Frogs!, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2005.
Texas-based artist Keith Graves is the author and illustrator of several children's books, among them Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, and Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance. Describing Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, the story of three singing, stinking, and sublimely satisfied dump dwellers, Jennifer Mattson wrote in Booklist that "kids will relish these stinkers' gleeful unconcern for matters of personal hygiene, along with Graves' infectiously silly verses and his irreverent spin on the just-be-yourself message." Liza Graybill shared Mattson's enthusiasm in her School Library Journal review, writing of Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies that the book's "illustrations, concept and rhyming text … mesh to form a unified stinky nest of fun."
Another of Graves' silly children's fictions, Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, finds a young perfectionist crushed when she does not come out on top in a scouting contest. In Kirkus Reviews a critic stated that while the book's "message isn't new, and the snarky smirk on Loretta's face is perfectly annoying, … Graves adds some levity by exaggerating the quest for merit badges among Scouts to the level of caricature." Classing the picture book as a "great read-aloud and praising "the colorful, rowdy illustrations," School Library Journal critic Leslie Barban enjoyed Graves' saucy protagonist, writing that "Loretta's can-do attitude, humor, and enthusiasm for life make her a heroine whom readers will admire."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 15, 2001, John Peters, review of Pet Boy, p. 1404; October 15, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, p. 412; November 15, 2003, Jennifer Mattson, review of Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, p. 600.
Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, p. 1223.
Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2001, review of Pet Boy, p. 92; September 9, 2002, review of Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, p. 68.
School Library Journal, September, 2000, Judith Constantinides, review of Armadillo Tattletale, p. 201; January, 2002, Barbara Bunkley, review of Uncle Blubbafink's Seriously Ridiculous Stories, p. 98; December, 2002, Leslie Barban, review of Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout, p. 96; December, 2003, Liza Graybill, review of Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, p. 113.
Keith Graves Web site, http://www.keithgravesart.com/ (January 5, 2005).*