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.
Gr 4-7-This book looks at stylistic movements in Western art from the birth of Naturalism during the Renaissance through the 20th century, ending with Op Art and Photorealism. Unfortunately, the conversational narrative and detailed observations that characterized Raczka's Here's Looking at Me (2006) and Where in the World? (2007, both Millbrook) are reduced to a minimum here-to the book's detriment. Instead, each style is profiled using a fixed set of questions, with the answers presented as lists, short paragraphs, and bullet points. The art chosen to illustrate each style is in some cases perfect-van Eyck's The Arnolfini Portrait illustrates Naturalism; in others, surprising-Courbet's The Stone Breakers is a little-seen painting that is nonetheless a fine choice to illustrate Realism. However, some selections miss the mark. Turner's Snow Storm is used as an example of the Romantic style, but unless viewers are familiar with Turner's other paintings, this one will appear more Impressionistic or even abstract. This title fills a gap, but most libraries would be better served by a more comprehensive art history book for young people, such as Antony Mason's A History of Western Art (Abrams, 2007) or Claudio Merlo's The History of Art (Peter Bedrick, 2000).-Paula Willey, Baltimore County Public Library, Towson, MD Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.