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Young Dave RossDavid Ross:

A Brief Biography

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 snowstorms 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 facility 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 eight* children's books, his published work includes, A Book of Hugs, More Hugs and Baby Hugs (T.Y. Crowell), the Space Monster series (Walker and Co.), How To Prevent Monster Attacks, Baby Bear's Christmas, and Is It Bedtime? (Morrow Junior Books). Two of his books, Space Monster arid Mr. Terwilligar's Secret, were on the International Association of Reading and Children's Book Council 1982 Children's Choice List.

Dave’s most recent project is called T’Bugs. It is collaboration with another creative fellow named Tom Lemery. They have been working on this long enough that both their wives think they are wasting their times. However, they have produced a movie treatment and chapter book version of this post apocalyptic vision of a world ruled by robots and genetically engineered insects (sort of like Terminator meets Toy Story). A sample of the chapter book may be found in the Sample section of this website.

* “over thirty eight” sounds like a very ambiguous, yet, at the same time, an overly precise number to be ambiguous about. What is it; 39, 40 children’s books? Why can’t this number be pinned down? Well, if you run a search through various data bases, Dave Ross seems to have written up to 54 different children’s books. But this number includes various paperback and board book versions of the same titles. Hardly seems fair to include them does it? Nevertheless, they have all been issued different ISB numbers and that is really meaningful to some Librarians (at least some Librarians who refuse to be called Media Specialists).


The Old Day Job

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. At various time Dave served as Executive Director, Chief Fiscal Officer and Head of Buildings & Grounds. His work experience in these endeavors was the mirror image of most entrepreneurs. He started out as the big boss and over the course of thirty years, steadily demoted himself. He ended his career chasing snapping turtles across the parking lot and unplugging toilets. 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. He retired from Helping Hands School in 2009.


Moonlighting

Mr. Ross is a frequent lecturer on children's literature and creative writing (it 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 Department Humanities Conference and just about anyone else who would pay him. He has served as a consultant to the New York State Education Department and the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Delays. (He continues to be amazed by the amount of credibility a couple of picture books will buy.) 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 N. Y. State. He was only slightly disappointed to learn he still had to pay dues.


Education

After hiding out in the art room for four years he graduated from Scotia Glenville High School. Dave has several other 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 Master 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.


Home

A father of four, he is thankful that his two sons, Ed and Joel and his two daughters, Kaitlyn and Tara are finished with college and working. He splits his time between Ballston Lake, New York and Jupiter Island, Florida with his very beautiful and patient wife, Kathleen


Dave is a member of the Author's Guild.

 

 

 

 

 

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