Photo of Bob Staake
Bob Staake is the award-winning author and illustrator of scores of books for children and has illustrated iconic covers for The New Yorker. His latest book, The Path is the inspiration for the MSO's Family Concert, Explorations, on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 3:30 P.M. The stunning artwork will be featured in full display, projected during the performance of Ben Bernstein's lovely and evocative music of The Path.
In a recent online interview, suggested that “to say Bob Staake is just an illustrator is like saying The Beatles were just a bunch of musicians; the title doesn't do the artist justice.” One of the nation's most prolific illustrators, his clients have included The New Yorker, TIME, McDonald's, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, The Walt Disney Company, Anheuser-Busch, The New York Times, and countless others.
Staake's November 17, 2008, cover of The New Yorker entitled Reflection commemorating Barack Obama's election as the nation's first African-American president was named by TIME as #1 in their list of 10 Top Magazine Covers of 2008 dubbing the image “beautifully rendered” and “simply spectacular” -- in fact, it is the most popular New Yorker cover of all-time according to
He has authored and/or illustrated over 75 books, including The Donut Chef, Bluebird, Bugs Galore, Hello Robots, Look A Book, This Is Not A Pumpkin, Pets Go Pop, and others. The New York Times named his book The Red Lemon one of the 10 Best Illustrated Books of 2006.
Bob says about The Path, “I began playing around with a book titled The Path in the Fall of 2014. As with many of my books, this one started with my idea for a cover. I created a valley shadowed by trees with a small boy looking down the hill at a path that snaked simply through the thin trunks. There was something mysterious and understated about the image and I wondered if I could write a story just as minimal. I wrote the story as a sparse, non-rhyming ‘poem,’ my goal being to express diversity from one spread to the next -- showing the path as easy, then becoming difficult, scary, surprising, etc. I felt it was also necessary to show the path along one specified route with no clear alternative options for the little boy. In the end, he discovers his own path -- and embarks on a solitary journey -- and only he knows where he is headed.”
The Path is the fourth Bob Staake book that the MSO has set to music and performed. Others are The Red Lemon, Bluebird, and The Book of Gold. The MSO is deeply indebted to his kind collaboration in these projects, including providing his original digital artwork for the presentations. Learn more about Bob at