In the Words of Barbara deRubertis

April 18, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Extras!

In the Words of Barbara deRubertis

I recently learned of a family member, a third cousin, who is the 15th generation of his family to live in the same home in Westphalia, Germany.  I find this astounding, as I have lived in more than 20 places in my own lifetime!  This peripatetic adventure began when I was born in St. Louis, moved to Memphis at age 3, and then moved to Dallas at age 8.

I attended the University of Colorado, where I was active in student government and graduated cum laude with a major in psychology.  While my husband, Kim, was stationed with the Corps of Engineers at Ft. Riley, Kansas, a Ford Foundation Fellowship at Kansas State University allowed me to pursue graduate level work in education and history.

After leaving the army, we moved to Cincinnati, where our first son, Corbin, was born.  Kim then went to work for Harza Engineering Company in Chicago.  In addition to Chicago, our family lived in Indiana and North Carolina, and Kim also worked in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras before he was sent to do work in Iran.  At one point, we were ready to move to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia when we were redirected to Ahwaz, in the south of Iran near the Persian Gulf.  We spent over 4 years there, and we loved the people, the culture, and our work.  Kim worked on the site investigation for the Karun Dam, and I taught at the Passargad International School, a wonderful school with 35 nationalities of children. Our second son, Benjamin, was born in Tehran during this time, and we were able to enjoy magical times traveling in Europe and the Middle East.

We returned to the USA in 1971 and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where I worked as a volunteer in the schools Corbin attended. We then moved to Bath County, Virginia, and I ran the only preschool in this county of many resorts and few people (The Homestead is located in Hot Springs).

In 1974, we moved to Cashmere, Washington, on the eastern slope of the Cascade mountains, and bought property for the first time in our marriage:  a four-story home built by a retired clipper ship captain, Robert Graham, in 1910.  Over the next 12 years, we restored the house, gardens, and orchards, where we now have a commercial crop of 1000 Rainier cherry trees.  We also purchased adjacent properties which included 1000 Bosc and Bartlett pear trees.

In 1978, I began teaching in the Cashmere schools. I taught music (1 year), first grade (4 years), and seventh grade (7 years) before becoming the elementary school’s teacher-librarian, a position I held for 19 years. Throughout these years, I frequently worked on both reading and writing curriculum development for the school district, as well as writing a number of grants that targeted improving reading opportunities and instruction for our students.

In 1990, I also began writing children’s books.  By the end of 2011, I will have 50 books in print, with a total of more than a million copies sold. All my books have an underlying educational purpose, and they are published by The Kane Press in New York City:

My publishing history is comprised of the following titles:

A series of five books, Holidays and Heroes:

Columbus Day:  Let’s Meet Christopher Columbus

Thanksgiving Day:  Let’s Meet the Wampanoags and the Pilgrims

Martin Luther King Day:  Let’s Meet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Presidents’ Day:  Let’s Meet George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

Earth Day:  Let’s Meet the Earth Kids

A  series of fifteen books, Let’s Read Together


Short Vowel Books:  Patty Cat, Penny Hen, Bitty Fish, Foxy Fox, Lucky Duck

Long Vowel Books:  Janey Crane, Zeely Zebra, Tiny Tiger, Joey Goat, Suzy Mule

Vowel Team Books:  Marty Aardvark, Perky Otter, Rooney ‘Roo, Bouncy Mouse, Wally Walrus

A series of four books for the series Math Matters


Deena’s Lucky Penny

Count on Pablo

A Collection for Kate

Lulu’s Lemonade (featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow)

A series of 26 books, Animal Antics A to Z


Ten titles now in print:

Alexander Anteater’s Amazing Act

Bobby Baboon’s Banana Be-Bop

Corky Cub’s Crazy Caps

Dilly Dog’s Dizzy Dancing

Eddie Elephant’s Exciting Egg-Sitting

Frances Frog’s Forever Friend

Gertie Gorilla’s Glorious Gift

Hanna Hippo’s Horrible Hiccups

Izzy Impala’s Imaginary Illnesses

Jeremy Jackrabbit’s Jumping Journey

Sixteen titles coming in 2011:

Kylie Kangaroo’s Karate Kerchief

Lana Llama’s Little Lamb

Maxwell Moose’s Mountain Monster

Nina Nandu’s Nervous Noggin

Oliver Otter’s Own Office

Polly Porcupine’s Painting Prize

Quentin Quokka’s Quick Questions

Rosie Raccoon’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Raft

Sammy Skunk’s Super Sniffer

Tessa Tiger’s Temper Tantrum

Umma Ungka’’s Unusual Umbrella

Victor Vicuna’s Volcano Vacation

Walter Warthog’s Wonderful Wagon

Xzvier Ox’s Xylophone Experiment

Yoko Yak’s Yakety Yakking

Zachary Zebra’s Zippity Zooming

Since retiring from teaching in the summer of 2009, I have been working full-time on the final stages of editing the Animal Antics books, developing associated learning activities and materials, and giving presentations.  I also have been enjoying opportunities to spend more time traveling with my husband, visiting with our children and five grandchildren, and enjoying adventures with friends.

~Barbara deRubertis

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