Raymond Bial has written and illustrated a variety of popular books for children and adults. His books have been published by Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, Walker & Company, Midwest Traditions, the University Press of Kentucky, and other fine publishers. He occasionally makes photographs for advertising, public relations, and editorial assignments. His stock photographs are widely used by major publishers, advertising agencies, and national media.
A highly-skilled photographer, Raymond works with ease both in color and in black and white. He is best known for his versatility in portraiture, landscapes, and still life photography, and his sensitivity toward the people and places depicted in his images.
He has published more than one hundred acclaimed books for children and adults, including these most recent titles: Rescuing Rover: Saving America’s Dogs; Dripping Blood Cave and Other Ghostly Stories; Ellis Island: Coming to the Land of Liberty,; Where Lincoln Walked; The Shaker Village; and The Super Soybean.
Although his children’s books are intended as middle readers, they are popular “crossover books” that appeal to younger children and adults as well. His books are especially suitable for parents, grandparents, teachers, and librarians to share with children. As with his other work, the artist’s deep feeling for his subjects is evident in these books of photographs for young readers.
About his love for photography he says, “Just as when I was a child, I still love to be outside, absolutely free, when I’m making photographs. With every photograph I try to recapture that heightened sense of feeling for people, places, and things that meant so much to me as a child. I believe that adults as well as children should live not only in their minds, but through their senses.”
For more than thirty years, Raymond worked as a librarian, including as a library director, in public, small college, and university libraries. He also taught graduate courses at the University of Illinois. He now works at home, where he lives with his wife, Linda, four dogs, two cats, and several other pets, in Urbana, Illinois. His children, Sarah and Luke, attend the University of Illinois and his daughter Anna is a fashion designer in New York City.
More biographical information about Raymond is available in recent editions of Who’s Who in America and the following publications. Something about the Author, Vol. 116, provides the most detailed biography to date.
- Rockman, Connie C., ed. Eighth Book of Junior Authors and Illustrators. New York: H. W. Wilson, 2000.
- Something about the Author. Volume 116. Detroit: Gale Group, 2000.
- Telegen, Diane, ed. Something about the Author. Volume 76. Detroit: Gale Research, Inc., 1994.
For additional details read this personal essay about Raymond and his work.
Over the years, Raymond’s work has received many Awards & Honors.
Raymond often speaks at conferences, visits schools, and offers photography workshops. For more information, see Conferences, School Visits, and Workshops.