Hinsdale author shares fruit of her labors
Ruth Wilkes, a senior citizen, wrote her first book titled "Dancing Fruit Put on a Show," a children's book with an iPad version where the book is read aloud to children. | James C. Svehla~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 11, 2013 2:19AM
HINSDALE — Ruth Wilkes of Hinsdale has written a children’s book that includes facts about fruit, and comes not only in paperback and hardcover, but also on Kindle and Nook, and in an interactive iPad version, which also will be available in Spanish. Look at the website, www.dancingfruitbook.com, call (630) 323-2474, or email info@DancingFruitBook.com.
Q. Tell me about your book, “Dancing Fruit Put on a Show!”
A. It’s about Andy Apple and other fruit who put on a show. There’s Stella Starfruit who does cartwheels and Bonnie Blueberry sings the blues. The second part of the book has facts about fruit, such as watermelons grow on vines on the ground. Children may not know where the fruit comes from.
Q. Have you written books before?
A. No, my first published book was as a senior citizen. But I was always interested in writing. I wrote stories and poems when I was growing up, especially poetry, that’s why the book rhymes.
Q. What prompted you to write a children’s book?
A. My daughter (Elaine Wilkes) had a deadline for a publisher. I said, to help you go faster, I can read it and edit the grammar for you. That’s how I fell into it.
My daughter’s book (Nature’s Secret Messages) talks about how the ancients saw stars in fruit. I had never noticed that. (A tomato has a green star where it connected to the vine, there’s a small star shape on the tops of blueberries, apple trees have star-shaped blossoms, etc.) I thought that might be a good way to get kids more interested in fruit and eating healthy.
I told my daughter she should write a children’s book about that, but she . . . suggested I do it. So I followed in her footsteps, like daughter, like mother.
After writing it, my daughter told me the coming thing is the iPad and she could help me do an iPad version of the book.
Q. Tell me about the iPad version.
A. It’s interactive and will read the book to kids and there’s extra dialog and sounds that kids can hear by pushing on things. There’s a little snail in the background that talks when you press on it. Kids love to hit things, so they can play a drum roll, and when Connie Cantaloupe tap dances, they can hear the sound of tap shoes. It was so much fun. My daughter and I worked together on it on the phone or on the computer. We had Join.me (screen-sharing software) so she could see what I was doing on my desktop.
Q. How many children and grandchildren do you have?
A. I have four daughters, including twins. I have three grandchildren.
Q. How long have you lived in Hinsdale?
A. About 20 years, I came from Barrington. I lived there for 26 years.
Q. Where did you grow up?
A. Benton Harbor and St. Joe, (Mich.) My parents were immigrants. They went there because of the farms. That whole area is the fruit belt.
Q. Will you write another book?
A. I should, now that I got into it.