Wisnewski, David 1953-2002

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WISNEWSKI, David 1953-2002

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 21, 1953, at South Ruislip Air Force Base, Middlesex, England; died September 11, 2002, in Alexandria, VA. Illustrator, puppeteer, clown, and author. Wisnewski won acclaim as an illustrator of children's books using a cut-paper technique. After briefly attending the University of Maryland at College Park, he gave in to his love for the theatrical by enrolling in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. He worked as a clown for several years before finding a job as a puppeteer with the Maryland National Capital Park Planning Commission. With his wife, Wisnewski founded the Clarion Shadow Theatre in Laurel, Maryland, in 1980, and in 1987 he became vice president of Clarion Graphics. Wisnewski began illustrating children's books in the late-1980s, and his first published work was The Warrior and the Wise Man (1989). At first, his illustrations were completely comprised of black cut-outs that were similar to the shadow puppets he and his wife had used, but in later works he added more colors and details to his art. He won awards for his books Elfwyn's Saga (1990) and The Wave of the Sea-Wolf (1994), culminating in a Caldecott Medal for Golem (1996). His more recent works, including The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups (1998) and Tough Cookie (1999), were more light-hearted than his early books, which were often based on old epic tales and myths. Wisnewski was also the author of Worlds of Shadow: Teaching with Shadow Puppetry (1997).



St. James Guide to Children's Writers, fifth edition, St. James (Detroit, MI), 1999.

Who's Who in America, 56th edition, Marquis (New Providence, NJ), 2000.


New York Times, September 21, 2002, p. A16.