About Author & Artists

Author Mr. Bob

In 1942 when I was 7, my family moved from Detroit to my grandfather’s farm in central Michigan.  At age 15, the direction of my life was dramatically changed by paralysis from encephalitis, a life-threatening virus in the spinal fluids.  I believe God waited for a mid-night prayer by the head nurse to turn me from the door of death back to a path of recovery.  No longer having the physical abilities to pursue my dream of being a professional musician, and, missing a year of high school, I began learning verbal skills.

After three years at the University of Michigan in Music and Liberal Arts, I transferred to Michigan State to earn a Bachelor of Science in a survey of business.  Returning to the University of Michigan, I obtained a Master’s in Speech majoring in Public Address.

My teaching career began with 3 years as an Instructor at Penn State University, where a colleague set me up to meet Betty, who became my wife 6 months later.

The day after I proposed, I was offered a one year teaching contract at the University of Hawaii replacing an instructor on leave.  We thought this would be a wonderful honeymoon – it lasted 24 years!  While at the University, I earned a second Master’s degree in Speech Communication focusing on Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication.

I retired early from the University of Hawaii – not by choice, but because of my disability.  We moved to Florida in 1989 to help Betty’s mother.  Then in 2003, memories of animals and critters I enjoyed as a child growing up on the farm in Michigan inspired me to write rhyming stories for children.  There followed a flood of inspiration for rhyming stories like I have never experienced before, in which I discovered a gift and delight in rhyming.

When I discovered that rhymes help children learn to read, I felt that my gift for rhyme gave me a new purpose to make a difference in the lives of children.  One activity we enjoy is presenting my rhyming stories at local churches and elementary schools.

Looking back, I believe that God has directed my life with adversity to prepare me to encourage people, and to be prepared to do things to help children.

Mr. Bob


Artist Ashley Otis

Ashley Otis graduated from the Art Institute of Tampa, Fl with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Media Arts and Animation, in 2012.

Ashley currently is the in-house digital artist for Royal-Tees of Sarasota creating custom t-shirt designs and logos.

Digital art and graphic design are special talents that Ashley has used to do freelance illustrations and formatting for children’s books and e-books.

Ashley’s beautiful digital illustrations that make Mouse In The Manger come to life, have made a dream come true for Mr. Bob!


Artist Ruthi Rolseth


Professional artist Ruthi Rolseth specialized in illustrations and murals for children. The illustrations for Tommie Turtle’s Secret were painted in acrylic.

Ruthi and her husband Scott entertained and taught children in the Tampa Bay area for 25 years with their “Happy Faces” ministry/business. Ruthi delighted children as Sunflower the Clown, and used art as one of several teaching and entertainment tools.

Tommie Turtle’s Secret was her only book. She passed away in 2007.