Rayevsky, Robert 1955–

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Rayevsky, Robert 1955–

Personal

Born November 7, 1955, in Moscow, USSR (now Russia); son of Igor (a physician) and Pauline (a teacher) Rayevsky; married; wife's name Inna (a teacher; marriage ended); married, 1994; second wife's name Kimberly; children: Miriam, Claire, Rafael. Education: Moscow Polygraphic Institute, B.F.A. (graphic design), 1978; Parsons School of Design, B.F.A. (illustration), 1982.

Addresses

Office—Parksville, NY.

Career

Artist and illustrator. Teacher of art at University of Connecticut, Storrs, 2003-04, and Art Institute of Boston, 2003-05; teacher and presenter at workshops and to schools. Exhibitions: Works exhibited at galleries, including Every Picture Tells a Story, Los Angeles, CA; Stoyopolis Gallery, Los Angeles; Alfred Berkowitz Gallery, Dearborn, MI; and R. Michelson Galleries, Amherst, MA. Works included in group shows at Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY; Hurlbutt Gallery, Greenwich, CT; Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; and at Bologna Children's Book Fair and Society of Illustrators annual shows.

Member

Society of Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Best Books designation, Cooperative Children's Book Center, and Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies citation, National Council for Social Studies/Children's Book Council (CBC), both 1987, both for Our King Has Horns!; Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies citation, 1990, for Belling the Cat, and Other Aesop's Fables; Irma S. and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature, 1993, for Three Sacks of Truth; Gold Award in Children's Category, Society of Illustrators Los Angeles, 2004, for Two Fools and a Horse.

Illustrator

Patricia Brennan, Hitchety Hatchey up I Go!, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1985.

Richard Pevear, Mister Cat-and-a-Half, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1986.

Richard Pevear, Our King Has Horns!, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1987.

(With Vladimir Radunsky) Adele Vernon, The Riddle, Riddle, Dodd, Mead (New York, NY), 1987.

Cathy I. Martin, The Dragon Nanny, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1988.

Tom Paxton, Aesop's Fables, Morrow (New York, NY), 1988.

Tom Paxton, Belling the Cat, and Other Aesop's Fables, Morrow, 1990.

Inna Rayevsky, The Talking Tree, Putnam (New York, NY), 1990.

Ann Tompert, The Tzar's Bird, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1990.

Marilyn Singer, The Golden Heart of Winter, Morrow (New York, NY), 1991.

Tom Paxton, Androcles and the Lion and Other Aesop's Fables, Morrow (New York, NY), 1991.

Tom Paxton, Birds of a Feather and Other Aesop's Fables, Morrow (New York, NY), 1993.

Eric A. Kimmel, Three Sacks of Truth: A Story from France, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1993.

Bob Hartman, Angels All Around, Lion Publishing, 1993.

Johanna Hurwitz, A Word to the Wise, and Other Proverbs, Morrow (New York, NY), 1994.

Eric A. Kimmel, Bernal and Florinda: A Spanish Tale, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1994.

Margaret Wise Brown, The Sleepy Men, Hyperion Books for Children (New York, NY), 1996.

Eric A. Kimmel, Squash It!: A True and Ridiculous Tale, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1997.

Margaret Hodges, Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid, Holiday House (New York, NY), 1999.

Linda Oatman High, Under New York, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2001.

Sally Derby, Two Fools and a Horse: An Original Tale, Marshall Cavendish (New York, NY), 2002.

Caroline Stutson, Pirate Pup, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.

Kim Rayevsky, Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms, Holiday House (New York, NY), 2006.

Paul B. Janeczko, selector, Hey, You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

Sidelights

Robert Rayevsky is a Russian-born artist and illustrator whose work on both commercial and picture-book projects has been honored with many awards. His work, which is highly influenced by his Eastern European background, incorporates heavy black line, bold colors, and collage and painted textural elements in a style that is uniquely his. In a review of Rayevsky's work for Paul B. Janeczko's verse anthology Hey, You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things, Gillian Engberg cited the artist's "mixed-media collage-

and-inked" art for contributing "an interesting, textures counterpart" to the collected poems, while a Kirkus Reviews writer noted his use of "broadly brushed, often semi-abstract backgrounds." In the art he creates for Margaret Wise Brown's verse story The Sleepy Men, a Publishers Weekly critic observed that Rayevsky is "as skilled at depicting flights of fancy as he is conveying … tenderly familiar" relationships. Rayevsky's "suggestive, atmospheric" medieval-style illustrations for Margaret Hodges' Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid "makes this book worthwhile," according to a Publishers Weekly critic, and in Booklist Ilene Cooper wrote that the illustrator's dry points and etchings "are full of action and naive charm."

As part of his work with various authors, Rayevsky has worked with his second wife, Kim Rayevsky, on Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms. Dubbed an "effective word book" by Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman, the work teaches readers about three grammatical constructs while also entertaining readers with wordplay and a story about a big-eared, green-skinned space alien learning about life on this strange planet called Earth. The book's "jumble of sounds and sense can make language fun," concluded Rochman of the work, while in School Library Journal Jayne Damron praised Rayevsky's "vibrant, mixed-media" illustrations. The "messy informality" of Rayevsky's art "has an inviting look," concluded a Kirkus Reviews writer, calling Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms "good practice for fledgling readers."

Rayevsky once told SATA: "I loved books as a child. When I read them I saw them in pictures formed in my mind. I started drawing very young and started in an art school for children at age nine. There was an official art scene at that time, but I had a chance at this school to be taught by wonderful artists from the underground movement.

"I immigrated to the United States after I graduated from the Moscow Polygraphic Institute and lived in New York City. I worked as a cab driver and waiter for some time, but my mind became filled with images of trays and chicken soup. I enrolled at Parsons School of Design, and there I discovered my fascination for children's books.

"Now, with children of my own, I see the world of these little people. Through my illustrations, I try not to impose my imagination on young readers but instead allow them to shape their own. When I start to illustrate a new book, I explore different avenues for media and style. I search for my feelings about the text and its best expression. Children's books are very enjoyable to illustrate because of the wide range for expression through fantasy."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1993, Hazel Rochman, review of Three Sacks of Truth: A Story from France, p. 1519; May 1, 1993, Carolyn Phelan, review of Birds of a Feather and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 1586; September 15, 1994, Janice Del Negro, review of Bernal and Florinda: A Spanish Tale, p. 144; June 1, 1997, John Peters, review of Squash It!: A True and Ridiculous Tale, p. 1692; November 1, 1999, review of Joan of Arc: The Lily Maid, p. 524; March 1, 2001, Gillian Engberg, review of Under New York, p. 1283; December 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms, p. 50; April 15, 2007, Gillian Engberg, review of Hey, You!: Poems to Skyscrapers, Mosquitoes, and Other Fun Things, p. 48.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, June, 1990, review of The Talking Tree, p. 251; July, 1993, review of Three Sacks of Truth, p. 349; May, 1994, review of A Word to the Wise, pp. 289-290; September 14, 1994, review of Bernal and Florinda, p. 15; December, 1999, review of Joan of Arc, p. 131; April, 2001, review of Under New York, p. 293; June, 2003, review of Two Fools and a Horse, p. 395.

Horn Book, July-August, 1990, Ethel R. Twichell, review of The Talking Tree, p. 478; September-October, 1990, Ellen Fader, review of Belling the Cat, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 612; July-August, 1997, Mary M. Burns, review of Squash It!, p. 467; July, 2001, Joanna Rudge Long, review of Under New York, p. 231; March-April, 2007, Susan Dove Lempke, review of Hey, You!, p. 210.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of Two Fools and a Horse, p. 532; September 15, 2005, review of Pirate Pup, p. 1035; November 15, 2006, review of Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms, p. 1177; January 15, 2007, review of Hey, You!, p. 75.

Publishers Weekly, February 23, 1990, review of Belling the Cat, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 217; April 27, 1990, review of The Talking Tree, pp. 61-62; July 5, 1991, review of Androcles and the Lion, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 65; March 22, 1993, review of Birds of a Feather, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 79; February 14, 1994, review of A Word to the Wise, and Other Proverbs, p. 88; July 4, 1994, review of Bernal and Florinda, p. 62; August 12, 1996, review of The Sleepy Men, p. 82; April 21, 1997, review of Squash It!, p. 72; October 18, 1999, review of Joan of Arc, p. 82; February 26, 2001, review of Under New York, p. 86; March 3, 2003, review of Two Fools and a Horse, p. 75.

School Library Journal, September, 1988 Denise A. Anton, review of Belling the Cat, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 178; July, 1990, Barbara Hutcheson, review of The Talking Tree, p. 73; November, 1991, Denise Anton Wright, review of Androcles and the Lion, and Other Aesop's Fables, p. 112; November, 1994, Karen K. Radtke, review of Bernal and Florinda, p. 83; July, 1997, Kate McClelland, review of Squash It!, p. 85; September, 1999, review of Joan of Arc, p. 213; May, 2001, Alicia Eames, review of Under New York, p. 142; May, 2003, Susan Scheps, review of Two Fools and a Horse, p. 112; January, 2007, Jayne Damron, review of Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms, p. 120; March, 2007, Teresa Pfeifer, review of Hey, You!, p. 197.

ONLINE

Robert Rayevsky Home Page,http://www.rayevsky.com (July 21, 2008).