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Artful Reading
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About the Author

Bob Raczka and his wife Amy are the co-creators of three masterpieces: Robert, Carl and Emma. They live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with their dog Rufus, who is also a piece of work. As a boy, Bob loved to draw--especially dinosaurs, cars, and airplanes. He also enjoyed making paper airplanes and model rockets. He's a lifelong Cubs fan. Thanks to good grades (and some help from his high school art teachers) he went to college at the University of Illinois, where he majored in art. On a whim, Bob took an advertising copywriting class and loved it. When he graduated, he became an advertising writer. But when his first child, Robert, was born, he rediscovered children's books and thought, "I want to do this." So Bob began sending out manuscripts and collecting rejection letters. Five years later, he sold his first manuscript, a book about art called No One Saw. Little did he know, it would become the first book in his ongoing series, Bob Raczka's Art Adventures.

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Gr 1-4-Through 23 works of art, Raczka shows the timeless appeal of reading. The book begins with reading as a solitary occupation in August Macke's Man Reading in the Park (1914) and ends with the community of readers in Jacob Lawrence's The Library (1960). Simple sentences serve as captions to these masterpieces: "Read to discover what something means./Read to escape to a place you can dream." Pages are bordered with triple deckle edges in white, cream, and mahogany with beautifully reproduced images of young and old readers dominating them. Each work is clearly labeled, and endnotes provide information about the artists and their paintings, among them Edgar Degas and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The selections send the clear message that reading has engrossed humankind for centuries-the oldest painting is Antonello da Messina's St. Jerome in His Study (ca. 1475). Raczka encourages children to "Read all the words you can possibly hold," while cleverly allowing them to discover for themselves the stories these paintings tell. This eye-catching collection is a welcome addition.-Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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