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Graves, Keith 1959–

Graves, Keith 1959–

Personal

Born 1959, in New Orleans, LA; married; wife's name Nancy; children: Max, Emma (twins). Education: University of Southwestern Louisiana, B.F.A.; attended Parson's the New School for Design; University of Texas, M.F.A.

Addresses

Home and office—Austin, TX. E-mail—keith.graves@att.net.

Career

Artist, illustrator, and writer. Founding member of Whispering Javelinas (rock band), Austin, TX.

Awards, Honors

Award of Merit from Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communicating Arts, Print, and others.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1999.

Pet Boy, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2001.

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.

The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2006.

ILLUSTRATOR

Mary Alice Fontenot, Clove Crawfish and Petit Papillon, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 1984.

Mary Alice Fontenot, Clovis Crawfish and His Friends, Pelican Publishing (Gretna, LA), 1985.

Helen Ketteman, Armadillo Tattletale, 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.

Sandy Asher, What a Party!, Philomel Books (New York, NY), 2007.

J. Patrick Lewis, The World's Greatest: Poems, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2008.

Margie Palatini, Boo-Hoo Moo, Katherine Tegen Books (New York, NY), 2008.

Sidelights

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, Pet Boy, Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance, and The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith. In addition, his illustration work for texts by other writers has been credited for its humor and kid appeal. Reviewing Sandy Asher's picture book Too Many Frogs! in Booklist, Todd Morning concluded that its "humorous, repetitive text is well matched by the funny, expressive illustrations" Graves contributes. Another collaboration with Asher, What a Party!, benefits from "multimedia illustrations" and "spot art" that "adds movement and visual interest" to the humorous story. Discussing Graves' contribution to J. Patrick Lewis's verse anthology The World's Greatest: Poems, Kirsten Cutler wrote in School Library Journal that the artist's "droll, distinct illustrations … capture perfectly the humor and vigor of" Lewis's poetry.

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."

Featuring an equally silly premise, 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." Describing the picture book as a "great read-aloud" and praising its "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."

While Loretta strives to stand out, the titular hero of Graves' self-illustrated The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith avoids risky business of all sorts. In Barcelona's way of thinking, accidents can happen anywhere, and germs lurk everywhere, so his life is uneventful. One day, the boy's shock of blue hair decides to rebel and go in search of a little excitement. Propelled around by his hair, the boy soon realizes how much richer his life can be when he takes the risk and pats puppies, plays on the playground, smells fragrant flowers, and even smiles. In Horn Book Susan Dove Lempke wrote of the book that Graves' cartoon art does "a lot of the work" in a "droll picture book [that] will make kids think for a moment about the risks of being too safe." Dubbed by a Kirkus Reviews contributor as a "typically off-the-wall episode from Graves," the reviewer compared The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith to other "wacky" books by writers such as Margie Palatini.

"Nothing is more fun for me than telling a great story through words and pictures," Graves noted to SATA. "I inevitably fall in love with each of my characters and try to picture them in as much detail as possible, even to the point of obsession. Loose-brained monsters, purple aliens, smelly gnarlies, and all other lovably flawed rejects are my kinda people."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

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; April 1, 2005, Todd Morning, review of Too Many Frogs!, p. 1364; February 1, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of What a Party!, p. 48.

Horn Book, July-August, 2006, Susan Dove Lempke, review of The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith, p. 425.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002, review of Loretta, p. 1223; April 14, 2006, review of The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith, p. 406; December 15, 2006, review of What a Party!, p. 1263.

Publishers Weekly, March 26, 2001, review of Pet Boy, p. 92; September 9, 2002, review of Loretta, p. 68; March 3, 2008, review of The World's Greatest: Poems, p. 46.

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, p. 96; December, 2003, Liza Graybill, review of Down in the Dumps with the Three Nasty Gnarlies, p. 113; March, 2005, Linda M. Kenton, review of Too Many Frogs!, p. 166; June, 2006, Julie Roach, review of The Unexpectedly Bad Hair of Barcelona Smith, p. 113; Febru- ary, 2007, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of What a Party!, p. 84; April, 2008, Kirsten Cutler, review of The World's Greatest, p. 134.

ONLINE

Keith Graves Home Page,http://www.keithgravesart.com (July 2, 2008).

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"Graves, Keith 1959–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Graves, Keith 1959–." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/graves-keith-1959

"Graves, Keith 1959–." Something About the Author. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/graves-keith-1959

Graves, Keith

GRAVES, Keith

Personal

Married; wife's name Nancy; children: Max, Emma (twins). Hobbies and other interests: Befriending armadillos.

Addresses

Home Austin, TX. Agent c/o Author Mail, Philomel, Putnam Berkley Group, 200 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10016. E-mail kgraves@austin.rr.com.

Career

Artist, illustrator, and writer.

Writings

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.

ILLUSTRATOR

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.

Sidelights

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

PERIODICALS

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.

ONLINE

Keith Graves Web site, http://www.keithgravesart.com/ (January 5, 2005).*

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Graves, Keith." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 27 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Graves, Keith." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 27, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/graves-keith

"Graves, Keith." Something About the Author. . Retrieved June 27, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/graves-keith