Ralph Masiello, author & illustrator
Ralph Masiello—affectionately known as 'The Icky Bug Man'—has illustrated several children's books including The Icky Bug Alphabet Book, The Yucky Reptile Alphabet Book, and The Flag We Love. His oil paintings are remarkably rich and realistic and bring to life the subjects of his books—be they bugs, flags, dinosaurs, or well-hidden messages and secret drawings.
Read more about Ralph.
- Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year
In this handsome, large-format book, Masiello introduces 11 traditional beasts and shows how to draw them. For each, he provides a series of detailed drawings that build up to the finished pictures slowly, guiding young artists line by line. Masiello uses the term dragon broadly to include Ouroboros and the cockatrice as well as more traditional forms such as Fafnir, the Aboriginal Australian Rainbow Serpent, and the Chinese imperial dragon. By closely following the series of drawings, with the new lines in red, an aspiring artist of even modest talent could end up with a respectable representation of a dragon. After two or eight wordless pages of step-by-step drawings, the finished picture appears, brightened with brilliant colors and accompanied by a paragraph discussing the beast. The book opens with an author's note and a world map placing the dragons on five continents. It closes with a pronunciation guide and short lists of recommended books and Web sites. Well designed and practical.
School Library Journal
The vibrant, eye-catching cover of this well-designed, neatly arranged book is sure to attract the attention of dragon fans and aspiring artists. A “Choose your tools” box illustrates the supplies needed (pastel pencil, crayon, watercolor, fine-tip marker, colored pencil, marker, poster paint). An outline map (that does not identify the continents) indicates where the types of dragons originated. Detailed drawings of 11 creatures (Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent, Lambton Wyrm, Chinese Imperial Dragon, etc.) require anywhere from 12 to 50 steps to complete. The technique is similar to the method used in Lee J. Ames’s books, but Masiello includes boxes with additional drawing ideas for fish scales, Maya patterns and shapes, a treasure chest, and so on, and a paragraph of facts about each dragon. The glorious, fire-breathing creatures depicted nearly leap off the page.
This well-designed and practical large-format book by author/illustrator Ralph Masiello explores the world of dragon lore, from the mystical Australian rainbow serpent to the revered imperial dragon of China. This book is great for science, language arts, social studies, and can be used across the curriculum.
Page count: 64
8 1/2 x 11