Born in the Ural Mountains of Russia and educated at the Moscow School of Architecture, Vladimir Radunsky (1954–2018) immigrated to the United States in 1982, where he became known for his brightly colored artwork and dynamic collages. Among the many children’s books he illustrated are the Candlewick Press titles Howdi Do, Bling Blang, and My Dolly, in which he brought to life nursery songs of Woody Guthrie that reminded him of songs he loved growing up in Russia. In collaboration with Chris Raschka, Vladimir Radunsky wrote and illustrated Table Manners, a collection of tongue-in-cheek advice on that very important topic, and also illustrated Mother Goose of Pudding Lane.
Vladimir Radunsky was the author-illustrator of many other highly individual books for children, including Manneken Pis, An Edward Lear Alphabet, and The Mighty Asparagus, which was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year. His quirky, unconventional works have been translated into many languages and demonstrate diverse artistic styles informed by his training in architecture and design and influenced by his childhood in the Soviet Union.
“I don’t pick the medium I work in, but rather it just happens,” he once said. “And most of the elements I use are repeated in various combinations. Recently I came across a story by Hans Christian Andersen. In it, I found this thought that pretty closely resembles my work principle: ‘Ah, godfather could really tell fairy tales — they were long and plentiful. And at Christmastime he would take a thick, blank album and paste in it pictures that he cut out of books and newspapers. When he could not find a picture that fitted the story, he would draw one.’ ”