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Beautiful Mistakes Make Beautiful Endings: Illustrator Ralph Masiello Visits Rumsey

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.

As part of the Rumsey Hall Culture of Reading, Ralph met with IVth, Vth, and VIth Form students this month to discuss the technical aspects of book making, stressing reading and library skills as they relate to the research and development of an accurately illustrated book. During this hands-on experience, students had a fun opportunity to practice their own skills as illustrators!

Ralph even created a bookmark just for Rumsey Hall!

Ralph's Website Bio

In 2004, Ralph's first book as both author and illustrator was released–Ralph Masiello's Bug Drawing Book. With his signature humor and simple instructions, Rumsey students had a blast learning to draw. 

A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Ralph has produced numerous works of fine art for galleries in addition to picture book illustrations and magazine covers for Omni and Tennis. He is twice the recipient of the Society of Illustrators Certificate of Merit. But it is his visits with school children that give him the most satisfaction. "Adults are very subdued. They say, 'Isn't that lovely?' But children will go, 'That's so cool, dude!' That's better than any award." Along with discussing the technical aspects of book making, Ralph tells his audience about his own education, stressing reading and library skills as they relate to the research and development of an accurately illustrated book. Audience participation and spontaneity is highly emphasized and always leads to boisterous, but stimulating and educational, fun for kids. For years, children have benefited from visits from 'The Icky Bug Man.'

View Photos of Ralph Masiello's Visit