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DAVE ROSS

Author & Illustrator

BIOGRAPHY I BOOKS I PRESENTATIONS I BOOK ORDERING

Dave Ross is an artist, author, educator and entrepreneur whose every career move has involved kids. His first serious employment began in 1970 when he was hired by a prestigious art museum (the Albright Knox) to drive an old converted book mobile. Some otherwise well intentioned members of the museum thought it would be a great idea to bring art to inner city children out of a mobile classroom. Apparently Dave was the only art teacher they could find willing to drive this ten ton behemoth into the projects. For two years Dave battled snow storms and gave curb side art lessons in Buffalo, NY. Dave was also an art educator for Shenendehowa Central Schools for eleven years (it took him nearly that long to learn how to spell Shenendehowa.

 

It was while Dave was teaching at an elementary school that he wrote and illustrated his first children's book (he was inspired during a particularly boring faculty meeting). His first book (How Many Frogs Make a Bunch) took just over a week to write and collected enough rejection slips to wallpaper a bathroom wall (it never did sell, but subsequent books did). An author and illustrator of over thirty children's books, his published works include A Book of Hugs, More Hugs and Baby Hugs (HarperCollins), the Space Monster series (Walker), How To Prevent Monster Attacks, Baby Bear's Christmas, and Is It Bedtime? (HarperCollins). Two of his books, Space Monster and Mr. Terwilligar's Secret, were International Reading Association's and Children's Book Council's 1982 Children's Choice selections.

 

In his spare time he helped his wife, Kathleen, found several preschools. One of them, Helping Hands School, is for children with special needs from birth to age 5. Today the school serves over 200 families in the Capital District area of NY. The other is Shannon's Rainbow Daycare Center which, oddly enough, is a daycare center. Serving as Chief Fiscal Officer and Head of Buildings & Grounds for these preschools, he gets to chase snapping turtles across the parking lot, unplug toilets and sign checks. He used to get to yell at bus drivers but he gave up that part of the job when he found out they yell back.

 

Mr. Ross is a frequent children's literature and creative writing lecturer (it's hard to get him to shut up). He has spoken in many educational settings (including drafty old auditoriums and noisy cafeterias) with audiences ranging from fidgeting elementary students to grad school teacher wannabes. In addition, he has conducted workshops and seminars for many groups and organizations including Parents as Reading Partners, the New York State Reading Association, the annual New York State Education Dept. Humanities Conference and just about anyone else who would pay him. He has served as a consultant to the NY State Education Dept. and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Delays. In 1992, in recognition of his work on behalf of young people, he was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Parent-Teacher-Student Association of NY State. He was only slightly disappointed to learn he still had to pay dues.

 

Dave has several yellowing diplomas hanging in his cluttered studio. They include a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from the State University College at Buffalo and a Masters of Science in Educational Communication from the State University of New York at Albany. He also has taken enough graduate work in Curriculum and Instruction to know that he didn't want a Doctorate.

 

A father of four, he is thankful that his two older sons, Ed and Joel, are finished with college and working. He resides in Ballston Lake, NY with his very beautiful and patient wife, Kathleen, his lovely but incredibly active teenage daughters, Kaitlyn and Tara, and a small, overfed, rat-like dog named Jackie.

 

Dave is a member of the Author's Guild and The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.