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Marc Kompaneyets (1974–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1974, in Moscow, USSR (now Russia); immigrated to United States; Education: Attended School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1992–93; attended Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, 1993–96; University of Pennsylvania, B.F.A. (cum laude), 1997.


Agent—c/o Author Mail, Knopf Publishing Group, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.


Artist, illustrator, and author. Muralist and fine artist, 1992–; writer and illustrator, 2000–; Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA, adjunct professor of art. Exhibitions: Paintings included in private collections. Murals installed in residences, hospitals, and commercial locations.


The Squishiness of Things, Alfred A. Knopf (New York, NY), 2005.


Russian-born author Marc Kompaneyets made his publishing debut with the children's book The Squishiness of Things in which all-knowing Hieronymus sets out with the self-imposed task of documenting and recording everything worth knowing. Ironically, just when he believes he has completed his task, an intriguing hair blows through his study window, its origins tantalizing the know-it-all with a new mystery. Hieronymus, determined to uncover the source of the hair and thus complete his challenge, winds up traveling the world in search of the tiny object's origins. Finally, defeated, he returns home, where a talk with his assistant reveals the answer to his search.

Just when the brilliant Hieronymus thought he had it all figured out, a stray hair blows through his window, sending him on a journey that yields some surprising discoveries in Kompaneyets' unique picture book.

Noting that Kompaneyets' "witty and intelligent narrative includes direct addresses to the audience," Wendy Lukehart wrote in School Library Journal that The Squishiness of Things is a "thought-provoking study of the agony and ecstasy of the pursuit of knowledge." Reflecting the opinion of Booklist contributor Karin Snelson that Kompaneyets plots an "almost Oz-like journey through strange lands," a Publishers Weekly critic wrote that the story "takes the form of a classic parable, as the search ends in Hieronymus's own backyard." In Curled Up with a Good Kids' Book online, Marie D. Jones concluded that the novel "combines great storytelling, eye-catching illustrations and a theme that hopefully will instill a love for knowledge and the wonder of exploring the world … in every child that reads it."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, July, 2005, Karin Snelson, review of The Squishiness of Things, p. 1925.

Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2005, review of The Squishiness of Things, p. 639.

Library Media Connection, August-September, 2005, Christine Markley, review of The Squishiness of Things, p. 70.

Publishers Weekly, July 18, 2005, review of The Squishiness of Things, p. 206.

School Library Journal, August, 2005, Wendy Lukehart, review of The Squishiness of Things, p. 99.


Marc Kompaneyets Home Page, http://www.mkompan.com (December 14, 2005).

Curled Up with a Good Kids' Book Web site, http://www.curledupkids.com/ (February 24, 2006), Marie D. Jones, review of The Squishiness of Things.

Additional topics

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