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Kathy Ross (1948–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

crafts press illustrated millbrook

(Katharine Reynolds Ross)

Personal

Born 1948, in Saginaw, MI; Education: Attended Lake Erie College, 1966–68. Religion: Episcopalian. Hobbies and other interests: Collecting antique paper dolls, reading children's literature, animals.

Career

Ross Educational Systems, Inc., Oneida, NY, owner, president, and nursery school teacher, beginning 1983. Preschool consultant for Highlights for Children; song writer for McMillan Sing-and-Learn Program. Lay eucharistic minister.

Member

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Sherrill-Kenwool Free Library, Progress Club (Oneida, NY).

Honors Awards

Pewter Plate Award, Highlights for Children, 1990; Every Day Is Earth Day named an American Booksellers Association Pick of the List, 1995.

Writings

Gifts to Make for Your Favorite Grownups, illustrated by Anne Canevari Green, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

The Jewish Holiday Craft Book, illustrated by Melinda Levine, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Make Yourself a Monster!, illustrated by Sharon Hawkins Vargo, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

The Best Birthday Parties Ever!: A Kid's Do-It-Yourself Guide, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

(Editor) Look What You Can Make with Plastic Bottles and Tubs, photographs by Hank Schneider, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2001.

Kathy Ross

(Editor) Look What You Can Make with Newspapers, Magazines, and Greeting Cards, photographs by Hank Schneider, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2001.

Crafts That Celebrate Black History, illustrated by Jenny Stow, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

(Editor) Look What You Can Make with Dozens of Household Items!, photographs by Hank Schneider, Boyds Mills Press (Honesdale, PA), 2002.

Things to Make for Your Doll, illustrated by Elaine Garvin, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

The Storytime Craft Book, illustrated by Vicki Enright and Elaine Garvin, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Star-Spangled Crafts, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

All-Girl Crafts, illustrated by Elaine Garvin, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

The Scrapbooker's Idea Book, illustrated by Nichole in den Bosch, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

The Girlfriends' Pajama Party Craft Book, illustrated by Nichole in den Bosch, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Creator of over eight hundred crafts published in Highlights for Children; contributor of craft column to Oneida Daily Dispatch.

"HOLIDAY CRAFTS FOR KIDS" SERIES

Crafts for Halloween, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.

Crafts for Kwanzaa, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1994.

Every Day Is Earth Day: A Craft Book, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Crafts for Valentine's Day, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Crafts for Easter, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Crafts for Thanksgiving, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Crafts for Christmas, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1995.

Crafts for Hanukkah, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 1996.

The Best Holiday Crafts Ever, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Crafts for St. Patrick's Day, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

More Best Holiday Crafts Ever!, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

"ALL-NEW HOLIDAY CRAFTS FOR KIDS" SERIES

All-New Crafts for Valentine's Day, illustrated by Barbara Leonard, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

All-New Crafts for Halloween, illustrated by Barbara Leonard, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

All-New Crafts for Thanksgiving, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004.

All-New Crafts for Easter, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004.

All-New Crafts for Earth Day, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

All-New Crafts for Kwanzaa, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

"CRAFTS FROM YOUR FAVORITE SONGS AND STORIES" SERIES

Crafts from Your Favorite Fairy Tales, illustrated by Vicky Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Crafts from Your Favorite Bible Stories, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Crafts from Your Favorite Children's Stories, illustrated by Elaine Garvin, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Crafts from Your Favorite Children's Songs, illustrated by Vicky Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Crafts from Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes, illustrated by Elaine Garvin, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

"CRAFTS FOR KIDS WHO ARE WILD ABOUT …" SERIES

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about the Rainforest, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Insects, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Dinosaurs, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about the Wild, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Reptiles, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Polar Life, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Oceans, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Deserts, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

"CRAFTS FOR ALL SEASONS" SERIES

Crafts to Make in the Spring, illustrated by Vicky Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts to Make in the Fall, illustrated by Vicky Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Crafts to Make in the Winter, illustrated by Vicki Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

Crafts to Make in the Summer, illustrated by Vicki Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

Crafts for All Seasons, illustrated by Vicky Enright, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

"CHRISTMAS CRAFTS FOR KIDS" SERIES

Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.

Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1999.

More Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Christmas Presents Kids Can Make, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

The Best Christmas Crafts Ever, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

"CHRISTIAN CRAFTS FOR KIDS" SERIES

Crafts for Christian Values, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.

Crafts to Celebrate God's Creation, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Christian Crafts for Christmastime, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

The Big Book of Christian Crafts, illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

"PLAY-DOH CRAFTS" SERIES

Play-Doh Halloween, illustrated by Sharon Vargo, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2001.

Play-Doh Art Projects, illustrated by Sharon Hawkins Vargo, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Play-Doh Animal Fun, illustrated by Sharon Hawkins Vargo, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Play-Doh Fun and Games, illustrated by Sharon Hawkins Vargo, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

"EARLY LEARNING CRAFTS"

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Sounds, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Kathy Ross Crafts Triangles, Rectangles, Circles, and Squares, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Kathy Ross Crafts Numbers, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Kathy Ross Crafts Colors, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

"CRAFTS FOR KIDS WHO ARE LEARNING ABOUT …" SERIES

Crafts for Kids Who Are Learning about Community Workers, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2005.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Learning about the Weather, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2006.

Crafts for Kids Who Are Learning about Transportation, illustrated by Jan Barger, Millbrook Press (Minneapolis, MN), 2007.

Sidelights

Kathy Ross has enjoyed dolls, paper dolls, gum-ball machine charms, and making things since she was a young girl. On her home page, Ross noted: "I still like dolls, paper dolls, and gum ball machine charms … and I still like to MAKE THINGS!" Ross's enthusiasm for creating has led her to write more than sixty books chock full of crafty projects geared for young readers. "Ross has become a synonym for creative," wrote Kelly Milner Halls in a Booklist review of Ross's Christmas Presents Kids Can Make. The author also takes her creativity beyond the printed page, offering summer workshops for teachers and traveling to schools to make presentations to students.

Many of Ross's craft collections appear in series focusing on specific themes, such as holidays, seasons, stories, and songs. The "Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about …" series features different climates and types of animals, including rainforests, insects, and dinosaurs. In a review of Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Oceans, Carolyn Phelan, in Booklist, said of the series that, "Upbeat and practical, these books will please." In Booklist, Phelan wrote of two other entries in the series that they serve as "an attractive source of practical ideas."

Several of Ross's books focus on the holidays. Her Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make features crafts kids can make on their own, without help from adults. "Ross has some great ideas for using household items," wrote Lauren Peterson in a Booklist review. The sequel, More Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, is "both practical and satisfying" according to Susan Dove Lempke in Booklist. Christmas Presents Kids Can Make focuses on hand-made gifts to be given during the Christmas holiday. Though there are a number of such craft books available, according to a School Library Journal reviewer, "this one holds a rare place among them." Ross's "All-New Holiday Crafts for Kids" series introduces an assortment of holiday crafts not featured in earlier books. "Children looking for new ideas need look no further," wrote Susannah Price in School Library Journal.

Broadening beyond specific holidays, Ross's "Crafts for All Seasons" series uses seasonal tie-ins as topics for the crafts. Of Crafts to Make in the Winter, Shelle Rosenfeld wrote in Booklist that the author's "multicul-tural, religiously inclusive book features some unusual and fun ideas." Crafts for All Seasons, which draws on the other titles of the series, was described by Phelan as "an attractive and economical way to bolster craft collections."

The "Crafts from Your Favorite Stories and Songs" series takes ideas from familiar stories and songs for classroom or at-home projects. Crafts from Your Favorite Bible Stories "provides practical craft ideas for religious settings," wrote Phelan in Booklist. In a review of Crafts from Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes in the same publication, Phelan noted that "librarians may want to dip into this book for preschool program ideas."

The "Christian Crafts for Kids" books provide craft ideas specifically geared toward a Christian audience. Crafts to Celebrate God's Creation is based on the creation story in Genesis. Booklist reviewer Phelan considered it "a useful resource for Sunday-school teachers." Of Crafts for Christian Values, which features projects based on traditional Christian virtues, Patricia Pearl Dole noted in a School Library Journal review that "church-school teachers and parents will find these craft ideas useful and fun to create."

Educational projects with Play-Doh are the focus of the "Play-Doh Crafts" series. Play-Doh Animal Fun introduces concepts of animal habitats through crafts. "With a wide variety of ideas, the book encourages creativity," wrote Mary Elam in School Library Journal. Another of Ross's educational series is "Early Learning Crafts," designed for the very young. Of the series, which includes Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes, Rita Hunt Smith wrote in School Library Journal that "these attractive books present hands-on projects to accompany phonics and letter recognition lessons." Kathy Ross Crafts Numbers is "a worthy collection of crafts that incorporates early math skills" according to Susannah Price in School Library Journal.

Ross also has several stand alone titles, some geared toward a specific female audience, others focused on historic figures. Crafts That Celebrate Black History offers crafts about black history, and after each craft, Ross "includes an interesting fact about these historic figures," noted Lynda Jones in Black Issues Book Review. All-Girl Crafts and The Girlfriends' Pajama Party Craft Book both feature crafts to specifically appeal to girls. Of the former, Augusta R. Malvagno wrote in School Library Journal that "this book is sure to please children and the adults who assist them."

Ross once told SATA: "I was never even close to the best drawer in art class. I could not sew well, knit, or needlepoint, and I still can't seem to manage those skills. It never bothered me. For as long as I can remember, I have loved to make things. And I still do. I have a cellar full of materials that people have saved for me. I definitely have a reputation for turning throwaways into fun and useful projects.

"I also love to sing. Again, I'm not a great singer and I can't read music, but I have written several songs for small children that are enjoyed in schools across the country.

"In this highly competitive day and age, I think that many children are discouraged from pursuing areas that they simply enjoy because they do not display an obvious talent. If you love doing something, do it. The happiness found in doing what you truly enjoy is immeasurable, and you never know where it might lead you. The success of my books and records has put me in a state of delighted amazement. I'm having a great time."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Black Issues Book Review, January-February, 2003, Lynda Jones, review of Crafts That Celebrate Black History, p. 66.

Booklist, October 15, 1994, p. 433; April 15, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Oceans, p. 1443; October 15, 1998, Lauren Peterson, review of Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, p. 419; March 15, 1999, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Polar Life and Crafts for Kids Who Are Wild about Deserts, p. 1328; December 15, 1998, Carolyn Phelan, review of Christmas Decorations Kids Can Make, p. 783, and Shelle Rosenfeld, review of Crafts to Make in the Winter, p. 788; June 1, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Bible Stories, p. 1888; September 1, 2000, Susan Dove Lempke, review of More Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, p. 128; October 15, 2000, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts for All Seasons, p. 62; January 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts to Celebrate God's Creation, p. 946; September 15, 2001, Kelly Milner Halls, review of Christmas Presents Kids Can Make, p. 234; December 15, 2002, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Look What You Can Make with Dozens of Household Items!, p. 762; January 1, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes, p. 885; April 15, 2003, Carolyn Phelan, review of Kathy Ross Crafts Numbers, p. 1473; December 15, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Things to Make for Your Doll, p. 756; October 1, 2005, Carolyn Phelan, review of All-New Crafts for Thanksgiving, p. 54.

Instructor, April, 1995, p. 14.

Library Media Connection, October, 2003, review of Star-Spangled Crafts, p. 75.

Library Talk, November, 1994, p. 32; May, 1995, p. 23.

Publishers Weekly, May 18, 1998, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Fairy Tales, p. 82; January 14, 2002, review of Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes, p. 63; January 6, 2003, review of Look What You Can Make with Dozens of Household Items!, p. 62.

School Library Journal, January, 1995, p. 105; April, 1995, p. 128; May, 1995, p. 102; October, 1998, Lisa Falk, review of Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, p. 44; April, 2000, Teri Markson, review of Make Yourself a Monster!, p. 125; August, 2000, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Bible Stories, p. 175; October, 2000, Susannah Price, review of More Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make, p. 62; February, 2001, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of Crafts for Christian Values, p. 114; May, 2001, Dona J. Helmer, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Children's Songs, p. 145, and Patricia Pearl Dole, review of Crafts to Celebrate God's Creation, p. 146; September, 2001, Lynda Ritterman, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Children's Stories, p. 221; October, 2001, review of Christian Crafts for Christmastime, p. 68, and review of Christmas Presents Kids Can Make, p. 69; April, 2002, Lynda Ritterman, review of Look What You Can Make with Newspapers, Magazines, and Greeting Cards, p. 132; May, 2002, Mary Elam, review of Play-Doh Animal Fun, p. 144; June, 2002, Rita Hunt Smith, review of Kathy Ross Crafts Letter Shapes and Kathy Ross Shapes Letter Sounds, p. 124; November, 2002, Susannah Price, review of All-New Crafts for Valentine's Day, p. 147; December, 2002, Genevieve Gallagher, review of Crafts from Your Favorite Nursery Rhymes, p. 128; January, 2003, review of Kathy Ross Crafts Triangles, Rectangles, Circles, and Squares, p. 128; July, 2003, Marion F. Gallivan, review of Star-Spangled Crafts, p. 148; October, 2003, Susannah Price, review of Kathy Ross Crafts Numbers, p. 156; October, 2005, Augusta R. Malvagno, review of All-Girl Crafts, p. 144.

Science Books and Films, May, 1995, p. 113.

ONLINE

Kathy Ross Home Page, http://www.kathyross.com (March 22, 2006).

Michael Elsohn Ross (1952–) Biography - Personal, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights [next] [back] Meg Rosoff (1956-) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

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