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
School Library Journal
A spooky cover invites budding artists in for lessons on how to draw some of their favorite autumn icons. Keeping introductory information to a minimum, the author gets right to the point. The step-by-step drawings define new lines in red, avoiding any extra scribbles completely and eliminating the need for frustrating erasures. Easier characters lead to more complicated ones and occasional optional details are included for inspiration-fancy finials for gravestone posts or a top hat for a skeleton. Opposite most lessons is a completed drawing showing how the art looks fleshed-out in color. The tools used are listed at the bottom of these illustrations. Several full compositions are included. The culminating spread pulls all of the elements together into one inspirational whole. Like most good Halloween books, this one won't lose its appeal in November.
Masiello adds to his long list of drawing books with this Halloween-themed entry--and there are plenty of ghostly goings-on to catch kids' interest. Readers are invited to "choose their tools" from among paints, crayons, markers, and/or pencils. What follows is a page of simple lines that become increasingly more sophisticated images, facing a full page of Masiello's take on the subject--bats, jack-o'-lanterns, witches, graves, etc. Though the introduction is a bit confusing, kids will probably skip it anyway and get right to work on their drawings. Beginners will find plenty to reproduce, and there are some challenges for better artists, like that skeleton in a top hat.
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 11