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Ruth Heller, born on April 2, 1923, began a career in publishing by writing and illustrating Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones in 1981, after being intrigued by the eggsack of a shark at an aquarium. It was so successful that she wrote a sequel, Animals Born Alive and Well. Heller received a fine arts degree from the University of California at Berkeley and did graduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts. She is also known for her series of elaborate coloring books, giving us all the opportunity to become “artists.”

Her books on the parts of language were colorfully illustrated to be of high interest.

Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Heller lived in San Francisco, California for many years. She said, “There is never a lack of ideas. As I am working on one project, ideas for others keep arising. Creativity begets creativity.”

Ms. Heller died of cancer in July of 2004, at the age of 81. She is survived by two sons and a stepson and many, many books.

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