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Puffin Childrens' Book Series

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?Highly informative and lushly?illustrated. An unbeatable combination for pleasure and learning.? --<b>Children?s Book Review</b>?The illustrations and the vocabulary will delight small eyes and ears.? --<b>School Library Journal Q&A - Ruth Heller - A Paperstar Profile </b>Ruth Heller - Profile<i><b>How did you become interested in writing books for children?</b></i>I loved reading to my own children, and when they started school, I became the P.T.A. library chairman. I was the one who got to pick and choose and spend a nice fat budget for the elementary school library. I feel as though I?ve been surrounded by children?s books for years.I suppose this and my strong art background are what prompted my trying to write.<i><b>What is the biggest influence in your style of writing, and how has it changed since you first began?</b></i>Hillaire Belloc, Gilbert and Sullivan, Edward Lear?I grew up reading all of them. I love their rhythm, and I loved reading Dr. Seuss to my children. No question, these were my influences.I think I?ve become wordier, not quite as minimal and succinct as I used to be.<i><b>What made you decide to write a series on the parts of speech?</b></i>Take a peek at the back end paper of the hardcover edition of A Cache of Jewels. You?ll see that I committed myself, in print, to writing a book for each part of speech.Here I am, ten years later, thankfully completing the very last book in this series. It will be published in 1998.<i><b>Do you begin with the words or pictures when you are developing a book? How does the second part come together?</b></i>The first step is to decide what I am going to say on each page. Then I can begin to visualize my illustrations. The words dictate what the illustration will be, but that still gives me many options.Sometimes the two come together easily, sometimes not. If not, I pursue new research material until something clicks.<i><b>Did you learn anything new about the parts of speech while writing these books?</b></i>I learned many things I had forgotten, and some new information and rules that I had never known. I also learned that the textbooks that I used for research were difficult to understand and somewhat boring, and that I am guilty of frequent misuse of the English language.<i><b>How do you choose the images in your book?</b></i>An art teacher once told me to ?fall in love? with whatever I was drawing. So I choose images that I love: candy, ice cream, butterflies, sea creatures, carousels, jewels, etc. Read More

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