Bellefonte author Abby Rupert Baus drew upon her teaching career and interest in monarch butterflies while penning her first children’s book, which was released this fall.
“Violet & Beaumont” is an uplifting story about a butterfly and a pony that become best friends. The book was released by Mascot Books nationwide in October at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other well-noted book sellers.
“I’ve always liked the monarch butterfly, and the chance to teach a little bit about migration and the life cycle of the butterfly,” she said. “My teaching inspiration sort of came out with that, so it’s kind of woven into it without it sounding like science. So you’re kind of learning as you’re reading.”
In the book, Baus wove facts about the monarch butterfly, such as their life cycle and migration as well as kindness, courage, and other great qualities of a true friendship, into the book.
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“The illustrations are amazing, and I am so happy to be able to finally share my book with the public, especially children and those that love nature, butterflies and horses as much as I do,” she said.
In her classroom, Baus said she tries to encourage conservation and taking care of the environment.
“Butterflies are one of those creatures that when you see one, it makes you pause and watch where it’s flying off to,” she said. “Sometimes it’s a good reminder of the fragility of life and the magic of life. It’s that positive moment that can make you smile on a bad day. I just think they’re one of those extra special creatures.”
The pony’s name is Violet, which Baus said was inspired by her daughter.
“She has some of the same qualities and she becomes best friends with the butterfly,” she said. “There’s a little bit about friendship, and even though you’re not always with your friends, you can be with them in your heart and you can inspire and take care of each other. So it’s a positive way to encourage friendship.”
Baus said she always loved creative writing in school and has been dabbling in writing ever since.
“I always told myself that maybe someday I would write a book,” she said. “As my kids get bigger, hopefully I will have more work. That will be a way for them to feel brave enough to try their own challenges and things they want to do — whether they’re writers or not. As parents, we pave the way for doing that.”
Baus teaches elementary music and sixth grade part time at Centre County Christian Academy in Bellefonte. This is her first year back after being a stay-at-home mom the past five years.
Being her first book, Baus said she is taking things in stride for now, but said she wants to set the bar high. Her first accomplishment was getting something in print and seeing her name in print. Baus was also very happy with the illustrations, which she said illustrator Alycia Pace perfectly captured for the ideas she portrays in the book.
“I was specific on the illustrations, and she was able to just carry it through,” Baus said. “They’re engaging and beautiful, and they enrich the story. I’m very happy with how well it’s been received in the community. Lots of friends and family have purchased it, and they recommend it to people.”
Baus is currently sharing her book at some local, trendy places. She did several book signings throughout fall and is currently working on more for 2018.
With every book Baus signs, she usually writes fun and inspirational quotes about butterflies or something about friendship — giving them a positive thought for the week.
“I really make it a point to not sign the same thing, so every copy, I have written something different than someone else’s,” she said. “That’s my little thank you to the person who gets my book — something special that they can look at that was written just for them.”