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The Short of It

Reading didn't come easily to me, but making up stories and poems did. It took a lot of hard work, frustration and a few buckets of sweat and tears until I got the hang of it. Along with help from my parents and teachers, I finally figured out why everyone was so excited about reading. I earned a master's degree in special education from Bank Street College of Education so I could help other kids learn to read faster than I did. Now I live in New Jersey with my husband and children. I can usually be found in the library stuffing shiny new books into a bottomless book bag. Too bad it isn't weightless too.


The Long of It

I wrote my first picture book when I was eleven. Unfortunately, I also did the illustrations. But, since then I've sold poetry and short stories to magazines like Babybug, Cricket, Highlights, Ladybug and Spider. My short story called "The Color of Hope" won the 2008 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction, after being published by Cricket Magazine in October 2007.


When I'm not writing, Ruby-- my pet therapy dog-- takes me to visit children in schools.
I also enjoy photographing nature, baking and having dance parties with my grandchildren. Ruby usually just watches unless we play her favortie song.


When I was a bit younger, my father read to me and my siblings before bed. Some nights he read us poetry. Other nights he read us short stories, or novels. But, the moments we all shared together were some of the best of my life.

Andria W. Rosenbaum/ all rights reserved


It sailed into my ears
seating me on an elephant's leathery back.
Acrid scents of unwashed beasts
rained around me as teams of chimpanzees
tip-toed through the tree tops
in a steamy green jungle.
Liquid heat
unleashed muddy streams
down my arms and legs till I plunged
into the dark waters
of the Zambezi River.


I was captured
in a wild world where roars ruled.
Tigers tracked my steps
and drums, tight with tanned antelope skins
thump-bumped a lullaby
in an African night, sown with stars.


It was the best gift
that gave me a Serengeti sunset
and the tall, dry grass of the wide plain
as I rode the voice
of my father on safari
through Tarzan of the Apes.


There were days when I thought I'd never be a published writer. Many days. Many years. Sometimes, I thought I'd rather be:
An astronaut, an Olympic sprinter, an explorer, an actress, a song writer/rock star, a gardener, a photographer, a dog trainer, a jockey and a teacher. I was a teacher for a while.


I would play with those other ideas, but always boomeranged back to writing. I often wondered, why? Writers have to deal with so much judgment and rejection. They constantly have to come up with fresh ideas. The have to be stubborn, determined, persistent, focused, solitary, resilient, patient and generally okay with hearing the word NO. So why bother writing?


Because I love the notion of sharing ideas.
I love playing with language.
I love creating something from nothing.
Being a writer lets me walk through my imagination.


I write for the moments when writing is like magic. Words can be a ticket to somewhere else. They can pass you a handful of hope. They can open your eyes to a new point of view. They'll unlock the door to a stranger's house and let you safely explore. They can share laughter and shine a light where there once was only darkness. They gift us with understanding and spark ideas for change. And sometimes they're just for fun. Never underestimate the importance of fun.




Ruby at work