Richard Keep (1949–) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
(Richard Cleminson Keep)
Born 1949, in Fort Atkinson, WI; Education: University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, B.A. (art education).
Office—220 N. Zapata Hwy., No. 11A PMB 69B, Laredo, TX 78043.
Writer and illustrator. Lake Geneva Northwestern Military and Naval Academy, teacher of graphic and studio arts for seventeen years. Graphic designer; workshop presenter, with wife, Linda Lowery.
Children's Choice designation, International Reading Association, and Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People designation, Children's Book Council/National Council for the Social Studies, both 2005, both for Clatter Bash!
(And illustrator; with wife, Linda Lowery) Trick or Treat, It's Halloween!, Random House (New York, NY), 2000.
(And illustrator; with Linda Lowery) Who Wants a Valentine?, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.
(And illustrator; with Linda Lowery) Merry Christmas, Everyone!, Random House (New York, NY), 2003.
(Self-illustrated) Clatter Bash!: A Day of the Dead Celebration, Peachtree Publishers (Atlanta, GA), 2004.
(Self-illustrated) A Thump from Upstairs: Starring Mr. Boo and Max, Peachtree Publishers (Atlanta, GA), 2005.
Illustrator and co-creator, with Lowery, of "Jalapeños: Hot Bites for Cool Kids" weekly newspaper feature, Miami Herald international edition.
Linda Lowery, One More Valley, One More Hill: The Story of Aunt Clara Brown, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.
Kathryn O. Galbraith, Planting the Wild Garden, Peachtree Publishers (Atlanta, GA), 2006.
An illustrator and author of children's books, Richard Keep recently collaborates with wife and fellow author Linda Lowery. While beginning his career working alongside Lowery on picture books that include Trick or Treat, It's Halloween! and Merry Christmas, Everyone!, Keep has more frequently branched out on his own, and his first solo effort was Clatter Bash!: A Day of the Dead Celebration. Earning Keep both recognition and critical praise, the book delves into Mexico's Día de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, a holiday celebration during which living family members celebrate the lives of their ancestors with offerings and upbeat festivities. Reflecting the holiday's fun-filled traditions, Keep's "staccato text and dynamic cut-paper collage artwork capture the essence of this Mexican holiday," commented a School Library Journal critic. Coop Renner, also of School Library Journal, wrote that Clatter Bash! "will be a popular title in Mexican-American communities and an eye-opener for others."
Together with his wife, Keep resides much of the year in San Miguel de Allende, a colonial town in central Mexico where he continues to pursue his passion for writing and illustrating. In addition to gaining inspira-tion from his south-of-the-border surroundings, he has also been inspired in his work by the family cat, Max, who is featured in A Thump from Upstairs: Starring Mr. Boo and Max. Illustrated with a mix of drawing, photomontage, and digital imaging, this humorous tale finds a nervous cat-owner imagining all sorts of horrible things when he hears a loud noise coming from the second floor of his house. The unperturbable Max has other things on his mind, however, resulting in a low-key picture book that "may help to reassure … children who frighten easily," in the opinion of School Library Journal contributor Kara Schaff Dean.
Biographical and Critical Sources
Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Clatter Bash!: A Day of the Dead Celebration, p. 867.
School Library Journal, February, 2005, Coop Renner, review of Clatter Bash!, p. 104; September, 2005, Kara Schaff Dean, review of A Thump from Upstairs: Starring Mr. Boo and Max, p. 175; October, 2005, review of Clatter Bash!, p. 38.
Linda Lowery & Richard Keep Web site, http://www.richardkeep.net (April 11, 2006), "Meet Richard Keep."
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