Updated: Feb 11
Written by Zachariah Rippee
Hello. My name is Zachariah Rippee.
I am a devoted husband, the father of three amazing kiddos, a teacher, an author, and an illustrator. I am someone who loves reading and learning. However, I didn’t used to be any of these things. I used to be Zachariah Rippee, the boy too dumb to read.
Growing up, my wife loved to lose herself in books. She could travel to wonderful fantasy worlds in the turn of a page. Unfortunately, my view of books was much different. I hated books. They reminded me of how I struggled with learning to read. They were proof that I was less than other kids in my class. I was no good at reading. So, I did not read. Instead of reading, I would draw.
I valued books based on their pictures alone. When all the other children were picking out their library books, I was trying to find books with the least amount of words, which also had bright, clean illustrations. I remember my favorite book. It was an animal drawing book. Apart from the metadata information, this book had 50 words. There was an animal name at the beginning of each new drawing section. Lion, tiger, whale, and eagle were words I became intimately familiar with.
You might be curious how a boy who hated reading could grow up to be an English teacher, children’s author, and lover of the printed page. Well, it all started when I read my first chapter book. Please understand, this wasn’t something I did for fun. No sir. I climbed that 341 page mountain for one reason, to speak to a girl! I knew she loved books. She was very fond of one series in particular. So I plunged head first into reading. It was much less terrible than I imagined. The book was about a magic school, a boy with a scar, and a chamber full of secrets. You might know the book I’m talking about.
If you do know the book, then you most likely see the problem with this being the first book I ever read. After finishing the book, I felt like a king! I had conquered a foe. I marched up to the girl, a broad smile on my face, and announced my victory.
Our first conversation was about the error of reading the second book in a series before reading the first.
Can you guess what the second book I read was?
Fast forward 17 years. The girl is now my wife. A love of reading books is a foundation of our family. In hopes of encouraging our three children to read, I began writing and drawing stories of my own. This desire to help others grab hold of a love of reading led me to the English classroom.
But, enough about me. Let me introduce you to my books!
The first book, Elijah and the Key of Knowledge, is all about discovering the power and freedom that comes with learning to read. The second book, Elijah and the City in Danger, focuses on encouraging kids to do what is right.
My third and fourth children’s books feature a cute little character named Marilyn McMona Verde. She is The Green Ladybug. These books focus on being kind to others and making new friends. Geared towards conversations about inclusion and kindness, these books have been well received in many elementary school classrooms.
Finally, my fifth book, The Crocogatabumbadile Colors the World is a whimsical tale of a magical creature that literally colors his world. As he paints the world he wants to see, he is soon confronted with a problem. What happens when we “paint” someone else in a way they don’t want to be seen? This book addresses the idea that colors do not matter more than people.
There you have it folks. Thirty years whittled into a hand full of words. Thank you so much for your time and interest!
To find these great books and other great self published children's books, visit our website at www.magicbeansbookstore.com When you buy a book through MagicBeans we are able to donate new books to under served children, for some these are the very first books they have ever owned. Please visit our bookstore today and support Independence, Literacy and Giving Back!