kids encyclopedia robot

Ellen Raskin facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Ellen Raskin
Born March 13, 1928 (1928-03-13)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Died August 8, 1984(1984-08-08) (aged 56)
New York City, New York
Occupation Writer, illustrator
Nationality American
Education University of Wisconsin–Madison
Genre Children's novels, picture books
Notable works
Notable awards Newbery Medal
1979 The Westing Game
Spouse Dennis Flanagan (m. 1965, second husband)

Ellen Raskin (March 13, 1928 – August 8, 1984) was an American children's writer and illustrator. She won the 1979 Newbery Medal for The Westing Game, a mystery novel, and another children's mystery, Figgs & Phantoms, was a Newbery Honor Book in 1975.

In 2012 The Westing Game was ranked number nine among all-time children's novels in a survey published by School Library Journal, a monthly with a primarily-U.S. audience.


Raskin was born in Milwaukee and grew up during the Great Depression. She was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison with a major in fine art. She had one daughter in her first marriage, which ended in divorce.

Raskin was an accomplished graphic artist. In New York City she worked as a commercial artist for about 15 years. Among other things she designed more than 1000 dustjackets for books including the first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, the 1963 Newbery Medal winner.

In 1960 she married Dennis Flanagan, editor of Scientific American.

Raskin died at the age of 56 on August 8, 1984, in New York City, the result of a connective-tissue disease.


Raskin entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison at age 17 with the intention of majoring in journalism.


Children's picture books

Raskin wrote and illustrated twelve picture books, published by Atheneum Books except as noted.

  • Nothing Ever Happens on My Block, 1967
  • Silly Songs and Sad, Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1967
  • Spectacles, 1968
  • Ghost in a Four-Room Apartment, 1969
  • And It Rained, 1969
  • A & The, or, William T. C. Baumgarten Comes to Town, 1970
  • The World's Greatest Freak Show, 1971
  • Franklin Stein, 1972
  • Moe Q. McGlutch, He Smoked Too Much, Parents, 1973
  • Who, Said Sue, Said Whoo?, 1973
  • Moose, Goose & Little Nobody, 1976
  • Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, 1976

Children’s novels

Raskin wrote four novels, all published by E. P. Dutton.

As illustrator

Raskin also illustrated more than twenty books by other writers.

  • Happy Christmas: Tales for Boys and Girls, edited by Claire H. Bishop, Ungar, 1956
  • A Child's Christmas in Wales, by Dylan Thomas (1950); J. M. Dent, 1968
  • Mama, I Wish I Was Snow, Child You'd Be Very Cold, by Ruth Krauss, Atheneum, 1962
  • Philosophy and History. The Ernst Cassirer Festschrift, ed. Raymond Klibansky and H. J. Paton, 1963 (second edition)
  • Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, selected by Dwight MacDonald, Crowell, 1965
  • We Dickinsons, by Aileen Fisher and Olive Rabe, Atheneum, 1965
  • The Jewish Sabbath, by Molly Cone, Crowell, 1966
  • Paths of Poetry: Twenty-Five Poets and Their Poems, ed. Louis Untermeyer, Delacorte, 1966
  • Songs of Innocence (Volumes 1 & 2), by William Blake (1789, 1794), music and illustrations by Ellen Raskin, Doubleday, 1966
  • D. H. Lawrence: Poems Selected for Young People, ed. William Cole, Viking, 1967
  • Ellen Grae, by Vera and Bill Cleaver, Lippincott, 1967
  • Poems of Robert Herrick, ed. Winfield T. Scott, Crowell, 1967
  • Probability: the Science of Chance, by Arthur G. Razzell and K. G. O. Watts, Doubleday, 1967 ‡
  • This Is 4: the Idea of a Number, by Razzell and Watts, Doubleday, 1967 ‡
  • Books: A Book to Begin On, by Susan Bartlett, Holt, 1968
  • Inatuk's Friend, by Suzanne Stark Morrow, Atlantic/Little, 1968
  • Lady Ellen Grae, by Vera and Bill Cleaver, Lippincott, 1968
  • A Paper Zoo: A Collection of Animal Poems by Modern American Poets, edited by Renee K. Weiss, Macmillan, 1968
  • Piping Down the Valleys Wild: Poetry for the Young of All Ages, edited by Nancy Larrick, Delacorte, 1968
  • Symmetry, by Razzell and Watts, Doubleday, 1968 ‡
  • We Alcotts, by Aileen Fisher and Olive Rabe, Atheneum, 1968
  • Circles and Curves, by Razzell and Watts, Doubleday, 1969 ‡
  • Come Along!, by Rebecca Caudill, Holt, 1969
  • Shrieks at Midnight: Macabre Poems, Eerie and Humorous, edited by Sara and John E. Brewton, Crowell, 1969
  • Three and the Shape of Three, by Razzell and Watts, Doubleday, 1969 ‡
  • Elidor, by Alan Garner (1965), Walck, 1970
  • Goblin Market, by Christina Rossetti (1862), Dutton, 1970
‡ Raskin illustrated at least five volumes in a series of 32- and 48-page mathematics books by Arthur C. Razzell and Kenneth George Oliver Watts, which was inaugurated by Doubleday in 1964.
  • Ellen Raskin (Volume 579 of Twayne's United States Authors Series: Children's Literature), Marilynn Strasser Olson, Twayne Publishers, 1991;
kids search engine
Ellen Raskin Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.