“I try to say one thing with my work: A book is a wonderful place to be. A book is a package, a gift package, a surprise package – and within the wrapping is a whole new world and beyond,” is a quote by the writer, Ellen Raskin. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 13, 1928. Her childhood was in the depression years and as a child she made up characters with her sister while playing games leading for her to write books. She also danced, sang, and played the piano along with reading books.

University of Wisconsin-Madison was the collage Ellen went to at age seventeen. Her intentions were to get a majoring in journalism. Then she changed it to fine art because of a exhibition she saw about nonobjective art at Chicago Art Institute. After collage Ellen married and had a daughter named Susan. New York City was her next move when she divorced her husband and took a job in a commercial art studio where she would learn how to prepare other people’s work for the printer.

There she developed her imagination by playing around with the printers. The artist became a writer by her picture book, Nothing Ever Happens on My Block that she wrote after fifteen years of illustrating ideas from other people. As she began to go on writing she wrote Figgs & Phantoms, The Westing Game (that both won a Newbery Ho-nor/Medal) along with other books.

Her death in 1964 was a terrible thing for she left her family of a husband, daughter and son-in-law in their house in Greenwich Village which maintained her personal collection of first editions, studio, her stock portfolio along with her home. She left behind all of her amazing books illustrated and designed for all readers.


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