So the idea for “Ruthie,” and that scene stealing pink hippo, came to me late one night in bed – like many of my nuttiest story ideas! These two lines, from the first verse, set the story in my mind:
"Her parents scolded, begged and coaxed, but Ruthie paid no mind,Her moods grew big and ugly - like some Hippo's fat behind."
I wanted a fast paced rhyme that was fun to read and visualize, yet also kid and parent friendly. As a teacher’s aid, I discovered that words in rhyme stick with children longer than those in plain text, especially if there is humor involved. Hey! Don’t all authors want their words to be remembered?Ruthie is an entertaining, fun story told in rhyme yet it offers an important, powerful message. What will children learn from this book?I am so happy you think so. Yes, I do admit to being a bit sneaky when I wrote “Ruthie.” The disruption of “big change” often plays a huge role in family life. Children and parents cope far better if they talk together about any coming changes: or encourage children to share their feelings after a sudden big change. Adding the Parent-Teacher guide opens a window for parents and teachers to ask children how they feel about Ruthie, her parents, and her bratty behavior. If children identify with Ruthie, and share their feelings, the frustration and anger that big change often brings, will shrink to a more manageable size.I understand the book comes with a Parent-Teacher guide. Is this guide included in the book or available from your website?
Yes, the Parent-Teacher guide is included in the back of the book.There is an excellent review for “Ruthie” on Jill Osborne’s “Writing and Play Therapy” Page: http://www.jillosborne.org/
Jill is a licensed child therapist.
The artwork in the book was done by award-winning illustrator and fine artist K.C. Snider. How was your experience working with an illustrator? K.C. was a joy to work with. We chatted back and forth about every illustration, and she was very open to the suggestions I offered. And this is not always the case. Some illustrators like to live in their ivory tower: incommunicado! K.C’s talent is awesome – as is the cool pink hippo that steals the whole book. Her cover art says it all!!You also offer manuscript critiques to writers. How can readers learn more about your editorial services?Thanks to the internet, my website, and two blogs, I receive Manuscript Critique requests from clients in many different countries. Unfortunately, some are not ready for a professional critique. These I advise, as gently as possible, to keep writing and rewriting, read many more books, and learn basic grammar and writing skills. Join a private critique group if at all possible.